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Did WWE just botch the Roman Reigns attacker storyline? Buddy Murphy has another great match! And WWE pull a Becky Lynch on Kevin Owens by having him apologise to Shane McMahon. Well, it was fun while it lasted. And what is the future of NXT now it’s heading to USA Network? Click the timestamps down below to go to any of those stories, and leave a comment down below to answer today’s question of the day… hmmm…
Should Kevin Owens have apologised to Shane McMahon? 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, SmackDowner and A Smack in the Face. This is the 19th of August 2019 edition of Smackdown Live.
Randy Orton opened the show this week, cutting a promo on Kofi Kingston and his attack on him on Monday’s Raw. Orton felt so rejuvenated in this promo, sounding like he cared about the feud and making the Raw beatdown seem as real as possible – even adlibbing with the crowd by telling them to shut up. New Day’s music hit, and Kofi hit a Trouble in Paradise from out of nowhere on Orton – and then laid out The Revival with chair shots after threatening to Pillmanise Randy’s leg. This was a really solid opening to the show; Kofi looked great, Orton sold the surprise brilliantly, and Revival are super effective in this new role. I was a big fan of this.
After recapping that NXT will be airing live on USA Network next month – which I’m sure always the plan all along – we got a backstage segment with Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon, were Owens begged Shane to rescind his $100,000 fine from last week. What a badass, asking the boss for mercy.
King of the Ring first round action continued on Smackdown as Andrade took on Apollo Crews. It was all decent stuff, and Apollo got a good showing before Zelina Vega interfered and allowed Andrade to hit the Hammerlock DDT for the win.
Then our show long storyline began, with Daniel Bryan and Rowan guiding someone under a cloak who was supposedly the man who attacked Roman Reigns. It’s not Vince McMahon is it? And this cloak man was shown multiple times throughout the show – setting us all up for the eventual disappointment. Because as has been famously said in wrestling: if it’s under a blanket or inside an egg, it’s going to suck.
Elias revealed to a hiding Drake Maverick that the 24/7 title rules were suspended by Shane McMahon, and then we got A Moment of Bliss with Charlotte Flair. Sigh. Let me recap this segment with impressions. Bah, bah bah bah bah bah. Bah bah bah bah. Bah bah bah bah. Nonsense, nonsense terrible writing and wooden delivery. Oh and Alexa Bliss was a heel on this show for this trying to keep track. Bayley came out to try and save the segment, accepting Charlotte Flair’s challenge for a Smackdown Women’s Championship match at Clash of Champions. Oh goody, another Charlotte Flair title match. Asuka and Kairi Sane are RIGHT THERE. Bayley then pushed Flair’s chair over. It was a segment.
Buddy Murphy was getting ready backstage, and was approached by Roman Reigns who wanted to make sure that Buddy wasn’t lying when he first fingered Rowan. Wait. And this led to Buddy Murphy’s second great match in as many weeks, as he took on Daniel Bryan in a terrific little TV match. There was a lot of back and forth throughout this match, and Bryan did everything he could to make Murphy look awesome. Even the commentators did a good job in getting him over – which was certainly helped when Buddy hit Murphy’s Law to pin former WWE Champion Daniel Bryan. He didn’t get a surprise roll up and then act shocked that he won, he hit his move and won convincingly – even taking out Rowan who tried to interfere. Big thumbs up for this.
Kayla Braxton tried to interview Murphy backstage, but he was attacked and laid out by Bryan and Rowan.
Revival sold their injuries at the hands of Kofi Kingston earlier in the night as they came out for their match with Heavy Machinery – what a bunch of marks, eh Seth? They challenged New Day to a Smackdown tag title match at Clash of Champions, and then beat Heavy Machinery with a roll-up.
Chad Gable cut a promo about being the underdog in King of the Ring, while Shelton Benjamin put a sign on the locker room door that made fun of Gable’s height.
We then got our second talk show segment of the evening, as Miz hosted a MizTV with Sami Zayn. Sami pointed out that he’s lost a lot since coming back from injury after WrestleMania, and he’s using this lack of momentum to become a manager… a manager to Shinsuke Nakamura. What an odd pairing. Imagine having someone as talent in-ring as Sami Zayn, and making him a manager. And the only reason you’ve done it is because Nakamura is Japanese. They both laid out Miz, which one would assume would set up a title match for Clash of Champions. Poor Prince Ali.
And then, sigh, and then, Kevin Owens was again backstage with Shane McMahon and he apologised for putting his hands on Elias at Summerslam so Shane wouldn’t fine him $100,000. What is it with this company and having their bad ass Stone Cold-like babyfaces apologising to McMahons? This is totally out of character for KO, and it made him look like a complete dork – only worse when he was then screwed out of the King of the Ring tournament when Shane made himself a referee and fast-counted Elias pinning him. I cannot believe this company has taken someone as hot as Kevin Owens, and made him look like such a chump, Maybe Eric Bischoff is writing this show.
To make matters worse, we didn’t even get a chance to let the loss sink in as we immediately cut backstage so Roman Reigns could see who it was that attacked him – and it was… Rowan’s doppelganger? I’m seeing double! Four Rowans! So, Smackdown ended this week as a Spider-Man meme. And then all four of them just stood or sat around in complete silence. No one was acting, no one said a word, they just stood there for an uncomfortably long time. This was such a weird ending to the show, and you could hear the crowd laughing at. If your reveal was going to be a joke, don’t end the show on it. This wasn’t a cliffhanger, this was a storyline falling off a cliff.
Aside from the opening angle and Buddy Murphy vs. Daniel Bryan, there was little to enjoy about this week’s Smackdown. Worse still, they’ve taken two of the hottest things in WWE – Kevin Owens and the Roman Reigns attacker storyline – and they’ve turned one into a joke and made the other look stupid. I’ll let you be the judge on which one is which. And has anyone noticed that there’s been a lack of women’s matches on TV since Ronda Rousey left? It’s almost as if this Women’s Revolution was just an insincere PR ploy for investors and the press. This week’s Smackdown is a SmackDowner. I’ll give it a high one because Buddy Murphy is great.
And now over to Pete Quinnell, with the news.
Top dollar review Luke! Now let’s dive into the newsy news. Newsy news…?
Cody Rhodes always seems to aim to be a positive person when it comes to Twitter, often seen tweeting words of positivity and encouragement.
However one of these tweets seems to have caught the attention of one CM Punk.
Cut shitty people out of your life & work. Life is too short.
In a now-deleted tweet, CM Punk responded with that one gif of Cody with his hand to his ear while the camera zooms in, you know the one.
While this of course means nothing, it could also mean…
“CM Punk to AEW Confirmed”
Switching back to WWE now though, and it was reported earlier this week that Vince McMahon would not be in attendance for Raw or SmackDown this week, though it was not confirmed the reason why.
In his stead, Triple H, Paul Heyman and Kevin Dunn sat at the big boys table and ran Raw, with seemingly a similar lineup for SmackDown as well.
The reason for his absence has now been revealed, as reported by Dave Meltzer on Wrestling Observer Radio.
“So Vince wasn’t at the show tonight. He’s not going to be at the show tomorrow night because he’s getting ready for the XFL announcement on Wednesday. They’re gonna announce all the coaches and all the teams and things like that so he’s busy with that.”
With another very solid week of WWE programming under their belt, they seem to be on the rise, at least in terms of quality of shows, apart from last night’s SmackDown. Let’s hope Vince McMahon has more XFL commitments in the future then, hey? It is worth noting however that Meltzer went on to note that while Vince wasn’t there in person, he would most likely still be running the show, just by phone instead.
But now we get on to the biggest announcement of the week, and that’s NXT moving to the USA network as of September 18, for absolutely no reason than to draw more viewers and make more money! It’s clear NXT just outgrew the WWE Network and TV was the logical next step, and there’s no other wrestling promotions to compete with or anything…
With the announcement has come all sorts of rumour and speculation, with some slightly more feasible than others.
One such tidbit surrounds the future of 205 Live, because, while NXT will be broadcast on USA on Wednesday nights, it will be available on the WWE network the day after, on Thursday nights.
Does this mean 205 Live will move to the Wednesday night slot on the Network to fill the gap? Well, it might be even worse news for the purple brand according to Meltzer, as he thinks it may be scrapped.
“It may mean 205 Live goes to WWE Network although a lot of people think 205 Live is going to disappear and it probably should because talk about a failed experiment, that’s a failed experiment.”
Considering NXT will now be a two-hour show, perhaps 205 Live will merge with the NXT roster to help fill out the extra time.
The subject of the competition of NXT moving to TV, AEW, have seemingly responded to this news, via Chris Jericho of course. He tweeted to say:
Congrats to @WWENXT for making the big move to the @USA_Network! Runners always race faster when somebody is right behind them. Gonna be fun to see which team the world decides to join! #ChooseJericho @AEWrestling @AEWonTNT
AEW’s official Instagram page then posted a picture of this tweet, seemingly endorsing Jericho’s tweet as a defacto official statement on the matter.
October is certainly shaping up to be an interesting month for pro wrestling.
One of the big concerns many fans had surrounding this next step for NXT is that, now it would be on TV, Vince McMahon would most likely get his hands stuck in and help run the show, which is one of the reasons NXT has flourished like it has, with the distinct feel of the brand being completely different to something like Raw or SmackDown.
However, fans of NXT can reportedly rest easy, as Pro Wrestling Sheet have sources telling them the product will remain exactly the same.
“Sources tell us despite speculation, the current plan is for NXT to remain as the same show it’s been for years… Bottom line, if you’re worried about losing the workrate heavy product that’s been spearheaded by Triple H for years … don’t be.”
It’s worth noting that there will undoubtedly be some changes to the show. Now being broadcast live with no tapings, it prevents them writing four or more weeks of story in advance, and with two hours to fill instead of one, perhaps the talent may not be cycled in and out as much as we see on the one-hour version.
However, if Triple H is still the one in charge, it bodes well for the brand to thrive under this new format too. Once again, I’m very, very excited for October.
Spider-Man is out of the MCU! What’s really going on with Sony and Disney? Oli and Laurie are goign through all the details on today’s episode of ScreenStalker! Click the video on screen now to be taken over there right now! But before you go, 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.