Lowdown on Smackdown- 7/23/19

Smackdown opened up with a dramatic video package from last week’s episode recapping everything that happened between Kevin Owens and Shane McMahon. From Shane telling Kevin to leave the arena; to Kevin dropping multiple stunners on Shane; to Shane saying that Kevin would get what’s coming to him. For those of you who’ve read my reviews, you know I’m not big on video packages, but the dramatic music laced with the video piked my interest for a change.

Smackdown would open properly with Big-E and Xavier Woods joining the announce team for the first forty-ish minutes of the show, adding their over-the-top takes. If there’s one thing I find more annoying than The Street Profits doing their loud, exhausting segments on Raw, it’s The New Day at the announce table.

Shane McMahon would come down to the ring to classic chants like “CM Punk” and “You Can’t Wrestle.” He would talk about the Raw Reunion and how Kevin Owens challenged him to a match at Summerslam via social media. Shane would then show an old clip from last year of Kevin quitting after losing to Seth Rollins, which would cause Kevin to come out to the stage. A quick back and forth between the two, and Shane McMahon would set up a match between Kevin and Roman Reigns.

In a brief segment backstage, Shane would set up to have himself as the special guest ring announcer, Drew McIntyre as the special guest referee, and Elias as the special guest timekeeper.

Our first match of the night would be “Where In The World Is” Shinsuke Nakamura vs. (surprisingly) Apollo Crews. This would be a fantastic first match as both men were evenly matched, performing amazing moves like Crews’ near 30-second long Stalling Suplex, and Nakamura’s Sliding Sliding Snap German Suplex. Nakamura would line up for the Kinshasa only to have Crews counter it into The Olympic Slam and near pinfall. Nakamura would eventually win with another Kinshasa and to remind everyone that he’s still a heel, proceed to attack Crews, delivering another Kinshasa outside the ring.

A backstage segment with Mandy Rose and Sonya DeVille announcing they have a tag match next week against The IIconics, and if they win they will receive a shot at the Women’s Tag Team Titles. The two would hug and stare longingly into each other’s eyes, slowly pushing this LGBTQ storyline WWE has been trying out for the last two months.

Another promo with Ali talking about how he will rewrite his story and become WWE Champion would lead into another episode of Miz TV. The Miz’s guest that evening was Shawn Michaels. The two would talk about the Raw Reunion and then talk about Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar at Summerslam. This would cause Dolph Ziggler to come out to the ring and tell Shawn Michaels how embarrassed he was for Shawn for coming back after being retired for so long. Shawn would then call Ziggler a second-rate Shawn Michaels and after a brief face-to-face, Dolph would take a swing at Shawn, miss, and hit The Miz. He would then Superkick Shawn Michaels and leave the ring.

The next match would be Ember Moon vs. Charlotte Flair. Let me tell you, I was excited about this match. Another opportunity to push Moon even further into the spotlight where she belongs? Even if she lost, it would still be a win. To my surprise, the two would barely tangle up before Bayley would come down to the ring, entrance song blaring, distracting Flair long enough for Moon to pick up the win with a roll-up. 
Moon would roll out of the ring and stand by Bayley, only to throw Bayley into the ring. Flair would boot Bayley in the head, providing Moon with enough distraction to climb to the top rope and land The Eclipse on Flair. She would do the same on Bayley, and even though this was a nothing match, seeing Moon stand over two of the top women in Smackdown was worth it.

Kofi Kingston would come down to the ring and challenge Randy Orton to his WWE Title at Summerslam. Randy, naturally, would accept. The two would share a solid promo where Kofi blamed Orton for using his influence to hold him back from the top card. Randy would admit to it. He would also tell Kofi that if it weren’t for him injuring Ali, it wouldn’t be him holding the title, and he’d still be mid-card, tossing out pancakes, and dancing.
Kofi would then face-off against Samoa Joe in a painfully long, amazingly boring match, filled with nothing but rest holds. The two would wrestle one another as if they had been wrestling for an hour and were completely out of it, and it had only been a few minutes since the start of the match. The point to this match was for Randy Orton to interfere and try to RKO Kofi. Instead, Joe received the RKO, and Kofi would land the Trouble In Paradise on Orton.

Kayla Braxton would interview Finn Balor over what happened last week on Raw when The Fiend Bray Wyatt attacked him. He would challenge Bray to a match at Summerslam. Yowie Wowie Bray would respond with a Firefly Fun House video package, telling Finn that The Fiend excepts. After a creepy montage, The Fiend would end the video muttering the words “let me in.”

After a video package of all the 24/7 Title switches on Raw Reunion, Charlotte Flair would demand a match at Summerslam. Someone whose better than Ember Moon. Io Shirai perhaps?

Before the main event would get underway, Shane McMahon, Drew McIntyre, and Elias would set themselves up in the positions they assigned to themselves earlier in the show. Kevin Owens and Roman Reigns would come down to the ring and be formally introduced by Shane, who would include himself in the announcement of both men. 

It didn’t take long before the main event match broke down and chaos ensued. It would start with Drew McIntyre getting in between the two a bit too physically and getting uppercut by Roman and then tossed out of the ring. Elias would try to get involved but Kevin would stop him from getting into the ring. 

Shane would try to make a break for it, but Roman and Kevin would corner him. McIntyre would jump in and save him, attacking Roman, as Elias would drive a knee into Kevin’s face. The three of them would then team up on Roman, setting Shane up to perform Roman’s Spear. Before that could happen, Kevin ripped Shane out of the ring, slamming him against the barrier. He would then Superkick Drew and Elias and Roman would Spear a tottering Drew. As Shane is seen limping away from harm, Kevin would stun Elias, leaving the babyfaces on top for another episode.

I forget that Smackdown is a two-hour show, which is probably why I enjoy it more than I do Raw. There was a flow to this episode that made time fly by, heightened by the quality matches of the night.

I give this episode of Smackdown a solid 3 out of 5 stars.

Daniel Hennessy