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Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan form like Voltron! The B-Team and Kabuki Warriors both make it onto TV! And two more big matches are made for the Fox debut next week, but not really that Hell in a Cell show that takes place just a couple of days later. I am Luke Owen, press the thumbs up, and leave a comment down below to answer our question of the day:
What was your favourite Smackdown Live moment of its run on USA Network? And remember to 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.
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This is the 24th of September, 2019 edition of Smackdown Live. The final Smackdown Live on USA Network.
Despite advertising that Roman Reigns and Daniel Bryan would have a face-to-face meeting – with Eric Bischoff even tweeting that it was unmissable TV – card subject to change! – Erick Rowan and Daniel Bryan opened the show by having a match. The crowd were so into babyface Bryan, it brought back all those wonderful memories of his 2013 run, as well as his initial return to the ring. Not to say his heel run wasn’t great – because it was so great – but it’s nice to see Bryan back as a good guy. This was also a really fun match, let down slightly by a botched finish – which saw Rowan give Bryan the Iron Claw over the ropes off a Luke Harper distraction, only for Bryan’s leg to get caught. Rowan tried to free him but couldn’t, tried to pin him but the ref wouldn’t allow it, and so all three of them had to work to free Bryan from his rope prison. Rowan gave him another Iron Claw for the win. Roman Reigns came down to make the save, and he and Bryan cleared house – with Bryan announcing that he and Roman would take on Rowan and Harper, which was later announced for Hell in a Cell.
After a video package to hype Brock Lesnar, Kofi Kingston had a sitdown interview with an incredibly uncharismatic Michael Cole. Kofi said he’d win next week, and that was your final build for the WWE Championship match on Fox. Well, it was a fun ride while it lasted, Kofi.
Chad Gable came out next to address the short jokes being made about him, which brought out Mike Kanellis to make comments about Gable’s size despite being basically the same height as him. Gable made short work of him – dammit now I’m doing it – and made him tap out to the ankle lock. Elias appeared on the screen to sing a song about Chad being short. Get new material, WWE.
Charlotte Flair had a meeting with Carmella backstage, where it was seemingly established that Mella and Bayley used to be best friends. When did that happen? They then had a match with Bayley and Sasha Banks, where the commentators kept talking about this friendship between Mella and Bayley. No seriously, when did this happen? The heels eventually won the match, with Sasha tapping out Mella with the Bank Statement, which would have been a fine finish, but Flair just stood on the apron like a total dick and didn’t get in to help her partner. Mella was then carried away by R-Truth as she was being chased by women looking to win the 24/7 title that, I’m sad to say, included the likes of Sonya Deville, Ember Moon, Asuka and Kairi Sane. This made me so sad.
Like Ronda Rousey last year, WWE have sacrificed the entire women’s division to put over the Horsewomen of WWE – and its meant that really talented wrestlers are just on the sideline doing nothing. It’s hard to believe that back in January of this year, Asuka was the Women’s Champion and tapped out Becky Lynch clean. Now, she’s running after a title that is treated like a joke. It’s just sad. And don’t get me wrong, I love Becky, Bayley, Banks and Flair and am glad they’re getting pushed, but it’s just a shame that others can’t get the same treatment.
Speaking of the Horsewomen, Becky Lynch ran down to save Flair from a 2-on-1 beatdown, and it was announced Lynch and Flair would take on Banks and Bayley next week on the Fox premiere of Smackdown.
Ali and Shinsuke Nakamura continued their feud, with Nakamura pinning Ali following some Sami Zayn distraction. And like Corey Graves pointed out on commentary, Ali was the idiot for allowing himself to get distracted. Prince Ali, idiot he, got distracted. Chased Sami, quite silly, and he lost.
New Day quickly beat The B-Team, and Mandy Rose was backstage handing out copies of a magazine she’s the cover star of. Otis wanted a selfie with Rose, and then ogled over the magazine spread with Tucker. OOH YEAH TUCKY. Buy our magazine using the link below, as endorsed by Chris Jericho. OOH, a little bit of the Gramly.
This all led to Fire & Desire taking on The Kabuki Warriors, four wrestlers who deserve so much better. Kabuki Warriors won with the InSane Elbow, and at least it seems the Paige management thing has been quietly dropped which is one positive.
Shane McMahon came out with his lawyers and zzzzzz. Owens came out to way less of a pop than he was getting before Summerslam, and they talked more legalise zzzz. To cut a long story short, Owens challenged Shane to a ladder match next week on the Fox premiere, where if Shane wins KO will stay fired, and of Owens wins then Shane is gone for good.
And it seems that WWE themselves aren’t that interested in the fued, as they cut away as quickly as possible to a backstage interview with Becky Lynch, which was stopped by Sasha Banks who attacked her and left her laying. So the final episode of Smackdown on USA ended with a Raw angle featuring two Raw stars fighting over a Raw championship. Quite a fitting way to go out when you think about it.
Like Raw on Monday, this was mostly a stop-gap episode before Smackdown moves to Fox next week. I really enjoyed all the Bryan, Rowan, Harper and Reigns stuff, and Ali vs. Shinsuke Nakamura is always fun, but there isn’t a whole lot else to say and the waste of talent in the women’s division on the blue brand is a real shame. This week’s Smackdown Live, is a low Smack Bang in the Middle.
And now over to Oli with the news.
Great review, Luke – and farewell SmackDown Live. Like any good relationship, it started off great with some memorable moments. But it got hella patchy near the end and you randomly brought another guy in.
Seriously, what happened to Fake Rowan? Did Bryan and Reigns just kill him?
But the 24th September isn’t just a historic wrestling date for marking the end of SmackDown Live on the USA Network.
It’s also when women’s wrestling was really first invented – because 43 years ago to that day, Stephanie McMahon was born. Big Daddy V celebrated by tweeting “43 years ago the world became a better place. Happy Birthday to my daughter” with a picture of her in an extremely 90s Rockers t-shirt.
It’s a sweet show of emotion from Vince, who often gets sentimental for birthdays. Like when John Cena turned 42 earlier this year:
“Happy birthday to @WWE ’s Babe Ruth, @JohnCena ! I really can’t describe in words how much @JohnCena means to me and the @WWEUniverse . #HustleLoyaltyRespectLove”
And for his biological son Shane McMahon: “Happy Birthday, @shanemcmahon !” with a picture of Shane somehow looking completely blank, confused and slightly scared all the same time.
And that gushing fatherly/son affection stepped up again last night… when Shane got booked to face Kevin Owens in a ladder match which will likely see Shane written off TV.
Next week’s SEASON PREMIERE of SmackDown on Fox won’t just have that huge ladder match, a Four Horsewomen tag and Brock Lesnar likely beating Kofi Kingston for the WWE title – PWInsider has also confirmed what we’ve suspected for months based off the new logo. The very name of the show will change from SmackDown Live, as it has been since the brand split in 2016, to WWE Friday Night SmackDown – just like how Raw is actually Monday Night Raw.
And in a very positive piece of news, the show’s move to Fox will also overhaul how commercials are placed in episodes – with AdAge reporting the ‘double-box’ shrink screen adverts aren’t likely to feature on SmackDown, and the overall amount of commercial spots will by “10-to-20-percent.” Which means less time for adverts, and more time for lengthy in-ring scripted promos!
The article also notes a series of big money deals that Fox’s sales department have already secured for WWE, including Progressive Insurance as the ‘presenting sponsor’ – which will involve ‘immersive’ integrations (which is fancy adspeak for awkward product placement in the show) – did I mention Chris Jericho tweeted the WrestleTalk Magazine yesterday, which you can buy a copy of using the link in the video description below! – along with Pizza Hut, Boost Mobile, Snickers and Paramount – as Fox make a good start at clawing back the $1 billion price they’ve paid for WWE programming over the next five years.
And with all that money, you better believe they want the hottest thing in WWE right now on their Network.
Since its first teases after WrestleMania, Bray Wyatt’s character reinvention has become the most exciting part of WWE programming – with his Firefly Fun House segments as must-see TV, and his Fiend appearance at SummerSlam being one of the greatest debuts of all time.
Up until now, he’s felt very much like a Raw wrestler – whatever that means, wildcard – with his current feud being against Seth Rollins for the red brand’s Universal Title. But his first proper storyline was against SmackDown’s Finn Balor, and there is a Draft the Friday after Bray’s Universal title match at Hell in a Cell.
And according to the very reliable WrestleVotes on Twitter, a backstage clash might be happening over whether he’ll end up on Raw or SmackDown.
“Something nobody can deny: a person who works for FOX has directly told me, face to face, they would like Bray Wyatt on SmackDown. However, it looks like he’s going to remain on RAW, with Paul Heyman being a gigantic fan of his. Not confirmed, but we’ll see.”
While Heyman is the Executive Director of Raw, he has been overruled by Vince recently – with the Wrestling Observer Newsletter reporting how high Paul was on Cedric Alexander, for McMahon to suddenly then tell people backstage to “bury him”, resulting in Cedric’s push being completely derailed since.
If The Fiend does win the Universal title next Sunday, and Brock Lesnar wins the WWE title the Friday before as expected, it’s unlikely both will end up on SmackDown – as that would leave Raw without a top championship.
But then again, this is the company that beat SmackDown 6-0 at last year’s Survivor Series.
With Lesnar being heavily featured in the original SmackDown pitch to Fox, you’d expect the Fiend to be drafted to Raw come Monday 14th.
How did WWE botch the Fiend after Raw went off-air on Monday? Find out what went down with him and Seth Rollins by clicking the video on the right. And what’s the real story behind Goldberg and Dolph Ziggler having a fight at a pornstar’s birthday over the weekend? Click the video below that to learn more! I’ve been Oli Davis, and that was wrestling.
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