WWE Smackdown Live: Review, Results, and Grades
Smackdown Live would open with Randy Orton coming down to the ring to explain that the reason why he attacked The New Day with The Revival the way he did on Raw last night was that Kofi Kingston is stupid. This would prompt Kingston to jump Orton from behind while he was distracted with The New Day’s entrance, landing the Trouble In Paradise. Kingston would continue by grabbing a chair and placing Orton’s leg between the chair’s seat and back to jump from the top rope, but The Revival would interfere. Kingston would stand tall, delivering chair shots to Dawson and Wilder while Orton slinked away to live for another day.
This is a great way to continue building this rivalry between the two and showing Kingston as something more than what he’s been: a half-baked champion with the luck of the devil. I especially like the fact that creative decided not to include Kingston’s real-life family in this story and decided to turn their focus on his in-ring family instead. Been there, done that, and we own multiple shirts that include George Mizanin, Bob Orton Jr, and AJ Styles wife and daughter, Wendy and Anney. By the way, those three stories happened around August of last year.
Andrade vs. Apollo Crews – King Of the Ring: First Round: This is how you start a show, people. Andrade and Crews would have another solid match, visibly pushing one another to a new level. Each would get solid shots on one another, have multiple near misses, and would have the upper hand over their opponent multiple times. Unfortunately, after Zelina interfered, Andrade would pick up the win with his Hammerlock DDT, showing once again that he can’t close a match on his own, and, in my eyes, undoing everything amazing he just did in the ring. He may have gotten the win, but the real victor was Apollo Crews. Grade: B+
In a backstage segment, Daniel Bryan and Eric Rowan would bring in a man with a hood over his head. This would be the man responsible for all the attacks that have happened to Reigns over the last couple of weeks. Bryan would threaten the guy not to move and this would lead to Elias lazily walking around, strumming his guitar. He would stop after seeing someone, only to reveal it was a referee in disguise. He would demand to know where “he” is, that he being Drake Maverick. Hiding inside a steel case, Elias would give Maverick a piece of paper from Shane McMahon, suspending the 24/7 Title stipulation so the Elias could get ready for his match against Kevin Owens.
In another segment that should’ve ended a long time ago, but we all know how WWE loves kicking dead dogs, Alexa Bliss would host another episode of A Moment Of Bliss with Nikki Cross. Her guest would be Charlotte Flair. Flair would briefly talk about her match against Trish Stratus at Summerslam, but then would do something new and completely original… she talked about herself, how she was the brand, how she was doing this, that, and the other things while Bayley was nothing more than an afterthought.
Bayley, tired of her nonsense, would come out from the back, and remind Flair who the Smackdown Women’s Champion was. She would accept Flair’s challenge to the title at Clash of Champions, which at this point should be re-named Clash With Champions because I don’t think there’s one champion vs. champion match happening at CLASH. OF. CHAMPIONS. Bayley would end the face-off by pushing Flair off her chair, which I will admit was pretty boss. She’s still a boring wrestler, but it was nice to see Bayley being more aggressive.
Buddy Murphy vs. Daniel Bryan: After a brief face-to-face with Roman Reigns in the locker room, Murphy would face off against Daniel Bryan in a match that certainly wasn’t last week’s Murphy vs. Reigns, regardless of how much the Smackdown announce team was praising the match as the greatest thing they’re ever seen. Bryan would cut a pre-match promo, calling Murphy a coward and a liar and dominate the match until the end. Murphy would get some shots in, but Bryan would stop his momentum before it could get started. Eventually, Murphy would start to pick up momentum, and after a near fall over Bryan, who’s foot happened to be on the bottom rope, Eric Rowan would cause a bit of a distraction that would lead to two near misses. After a superkick to Rowan, Murphy would land his Murphy’s Law and pick up the win. Grade: B+
A quick check-up on the man responsible for attacking Reigns would lead to Byron Saxon gushing about his “lawyer friend” and how Bryan hired a private investigator who performed some in-depth report, taking DNA samples and the like. I wonder what Saxon’s lawyer friend would say about Bryan and Rowan abducting a man and holding him captive.
During an interview, Bryan and Rowan would attack Murphy.
The Revival vs. Heavy Machinery: In a surprise appearance since their loss at Extreme Rules, Heavy Machinery were back, which I find hilarious because I just talked about them and the Smackdown Live Tag Team Division in last night’s review of Raw.
Heavy Machinery would manhandle The Revival all the way to the commercial break where once we returned, The Revival had the upper hand on Heavy Machinery. Dawson and Wilder would pick apart Tucker, but after a hot tag, Otis would come in and clean house. Otis would quickly tag Tucker back in for the Trash Compactor, but it would be countered and end with The Revival getting the win on a botched roll-up an inch away from the ropes. Grade: C-
During an interview with Chad Gable of 205Live, he would talk about his size issue and how he constantly overcame the negativity. Meanwhile, in the background, Shelton Benjamin would poke his head out from the door, then slap on a “You Must Be This Tall” sign on the door.
On a more terrifying note, last week WWE patented the name “Shorty G,” so get ready for a new Chad Gable gimmick.
The Miz would come down to the ring for another episode of Miz TV. His guest tonight would be Sami Zayn. Zayn would discuss contemplating his losses over the last few months and how it was his fault. He had gotten caught up in the greed of success and he needed to be more altruistic. This would lead to Shinsuke Nakamura coming down to the ring. Zayn would call Nakamura a tortured artist, much like himself, and that nobody, except himself, can understand the pain he was going through, so if The Miz wanted to talk to Nakamura, he would have to speak with Zayn. This would lead to the two teaming up on The Miz after a cheap shot to the back of the head.
Elias vs. Kevin Owens – King Of the Ring: First Round: In the main event and the final match of the first round of the King of the Ring tournament. The two performers would have a pretty typical, slow match. It was very apparent that something was about to go down, and that something was Shane McMahon. Throughout the whole show, Owens and Shane would have little meetings, Owens trying to convince Shane to drop the 100K fine from last week, and Shane said he would think about it. The stipulation would be that he was no longer allowed to purposefully strike an official, otherwise, he’d be fired.
About seven-tenths of the way through the match, Shane would stop Owens from attacking Elias outside the ring, ripping off his jersey to reveal he was an official. Seeing the bigger picture, Owens would go out of his way to try and avoid hitting Shane, which gave Elias enough time for the roll-up and for Shane to quick count the pin, helping Elias win. Grade: C+
I’m telling you right now, this rivalry is going back to Hell In A Cell.
At the end of Smackdown, we return to the room where Reigns’ attacker was sitting. Bryan would invite Reigns in and the show would end with Bryan removing the hood to reveal a terrified, heavy nose-breathing Rowan lookalike.
Smackdown Live was surprising with a lot of solid matches, promos, and segments. To my surprise, there was, maybe, three video packages throughout the whole show, which I feel is always a good thing. Grade: B+