The John Report: WWE Smackdown Live 05/14/19 Review


Live (on tape delay) from London, England (for the second night in a row), this is Smackdown Live for episode #1030. Follow me on Twitter @johnreport. Thanks to Melo Man for the banner up top. This review is sponsored by ICOPRO. Please visit TJRWrestling.net daily for our regular updates on the wrestling business featuring WWE news coverage along with reviews about wrestling’s past and present.

The show began with a shot of the crowd in London and Roman Reigns made his entrance. The announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton were on commentary as usual.
Let’s Hear from Roman Reigns
Reigns had a slow walk down to the ring. Reigns said they had unfinished business from Raw last night and he’s not going to wait until Money in the Bank. Reigns wanted to solve their issues right now. Reigns said Elias is a huge problem, so here’s one of the solutions and he introduced The Miz from Raw.
The Miz got a nice ovation from the crowd. Miz said it was good to be there. Miz said five days until Shane McMahon can't run and Shane can't hide. Miz said that Shane putting his hands on Miz's father was unforgivable and unforgettable. Miz said that this Sunday, Shane McMahon will be locked inside a Steel Cage...and here comes Shane.
Shane McMahon was joined at the entrance area by Elias, who had his guitar with him. Shane said that just because Reigns invited him doesn't make Miz a Wild Card. Shane told Miz he's going to ban him from the ring and the building tonight.
Elias said that Reigns can call him a karaoke singer, a wedding singer, but if he underestimates Elias it will be the biggest mistake of his career. Elias said he'll show Reigns why he is the biggest acquisition in Smackdown history and WWE stands for Walk With Elias.

Shane said that if they aren't going to leave the ring then they need to make Roman and Miz leave. Shane spoke about how there are a few other people that also hate The Miz's guts and he brought them out...Daniel Bryan and Rowan, who are the Smackdown Tag Team Champions.

Reigns and Miz were in the ring while the four heels surrounded them. The four heels went into the ring, they got into a brawl where the heels dominated. Reigns and Bryan were sent out of the ring. The Usos made their entrance as more Wild Cards from Raw leading to The Usos hitting suicide dives to take out the heels on the floor. Rowan ran over The Usos with a double clothesline. The brawl continued back in the ring leading to the faces clearing the ring of the heels. Roman's music played as his cousins The Usos and Miz stood tall in the ring. The heels retreated.
Analysis: It was a solid opening segment to set up an obvious tag team match for later. The match will feel fresh at least because of who is involved. It's weird that Reigns and The Usos have not been on the same brand since the brand split started in July 2016 because they're family and they're so close, so you would think they would want to be on the same show. It's not up to them obviously. I just think that's a missed opportunity by WWE because putting Reigns with The Usos sometimes would be good for all of them.

Randy Orton made his entrance for the opening match. It's a Fatal 4-Way between Money in the Bank ladder match participants.
(Commercial)
There was a backstage segment with Shane, Elias, Bryan and Rowan. Shane said that the four of them will take on Roman Reigns and The Usos. He said if The Miz comes anywhere near this match, his Steel Cage Match is cancelled. That meant it will be a 4 on 3 Handicap Match for later.
Randy Orton did an in-ring promo with a ladder set up in the ring under the MITB briefcase. Orton said this Sunday he's going to climb this ladder, grab that briefcase and become Mr. Money in the Bank for the second time. Orton said that the three most dangerous letters for the WWE Champion will be R...K...O. The fans chanted the letters.
Andrade entered with Zelina Vega, who did a promo saying everyone is so sensitive when it comes to spoilers. She mentioned Game of Thrones, Avengers: Endgame, but they don't care about spoilers. She said they'll ruin Money in the Bank for you right now. Andrade said in five days he will climb the ladder, take the contract and become Mr. Money in the Bank.
Ali was up next as replays aired of Orton hitting Ali and Andrade with RKOs last week. Finn Balor was up last. He's the Intercontinental Champion that is from Ireland, so he got a lot of love from the European fans.

(Commercial)
Randy Orton vs. Finn Balor vs. Ali vs. Andrade
Orton was in control with a stomp on Ali. Balor to the apron, Ali decked him with a forearm and Orton hit a powerslam on Ali. When Ali teased a dive off the ropes, Orton made it look like he was going for a RKO and Ali hit a cross body block. Andrade went back in the ring, Ali sent Andrade into the ropes and Andrade hit a clothesline on Ali. Andrade dumped Ali out of the ring. Balor with a boot to the face of Andrade, Balor with forearms all three guys and a double foot stomp on Andrade. Balor with an elbow drop across the throat of Orton. Balor with a kick to the head of Andrade. When Balor went up top, Andrade tripped him up. Andrade brought a ladder into the ring because there's no DQ in a four way. Andrade hit Balor and Orton with a ladder. Ali hit a superkick on Andrade to send him out of the ring. Ali went for a dive over the top, but Andrade had a ladder, so Ali went crashing hard into the ladder.
(Commercial)
The match returned with Andrade bumping into a ladder against the ropes. Ali hit an X-Factor on Balor, he went up top, missed and Orton hit a RKO on Ali. Andrade with a missile dropkick on Orton followed by a spinning back elbow on Balor. Balor came back with a clothesline that sent Andrade out of the ring. Balor with a somersault dive over the top to take out Orton and Ali. Andrade sent Balor into the steel steps. Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT on Balor for the pinfall win after 13 minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Andrade
Analysis: ***1/4 That was an exciting match as you would expect from four awesome wrestlers. I don’t think it really mattered who got the win here, but having Andrade pin Balor again makes it seem obvious that is going to be an Intercontinental Title feud post MITB. I’m looking forward to that. It’s also cool to see Orton working with these guys because they are fresh opponents for him and they sell the RKO really well.

After the match, Andrade set up the ladder in the ring. Andrade climbed up the ladder, reached up for the briefcase and Ricochet (from Raw) ran down to the ring. Ricochet went up the ladder, knocked Andrade down and grabbed the MITB briefcase. Ricochet left with the briefcase looking triumphant while the fans cheered him.
Analysis: That meant that Ricochet was the fourth Raw guy on this week's show if you count The Usos and The Miz as well.

Carmella did a quick cell phone promo saying she'll win at Money in the Bank.
Coming up after a break is a video about the rivalry between Becky Lynch and Charlotte Flair.
Kofi Kingston, the WWE Champion, was in the locker room when Xavier Woods showed up saying he’ll go out there with him. Kofi told him to stay in the back so Kofi can handle this business on the KO Show.
(Commercial)
Charlotte Flair made her entrance with the usual confident look on her face. A clip aired from Raw showing Flair and Lacey Evans putting Becky Lynch through the table during the contract signing.
Flair said that this Sunday at Money in the Bank will be a culmination of her rivalry with Becky Lynch. Flair said that the rivalry will end with her as the Smackdown Women’s Champion.

A video package aired showing the friendship that Becky and Charlotte started back in NXT in 2014, then that friendship continued on the main roster and it ended at SummerSlam 2018. Lynch claimed that Flair wanted the best for her, but Flair didn’t want Lynch to do better than her. Flair said she was there to win championships. Flair said at SummerSlam last year, it showed Becky was jealous and Becky said that was when she knew what she was capable of. Charlotte: “There’s no Man without The Queen.” There’s some truth to that because Becky beating Charlotte really elevated both of them. They showed the WrestleMania moment with Lynch pinning Ronda Rousey to become Becky Two Belts. They did not show the whole pin where Ronda’s one shoulder was up for some of it. Flair said that “The Man” is just a phase and Money in the Bank, she can lose it all. Flair said she’ll beat The Man to become the 9-time Women’s Champion. Lynch said she is going to walk out of Money in the Bank as Becky Two Belts.
Analysis: Great video. The comments were pretty basic, but I liked the mix with the video. Is Sunday’s match at MITB really the end of this rivalry? I think it might be, at least for now because Lynch is expected to be on Raw only when she loses the SD Women’s Title. If Lynch loses one of her titles at Money in the Bank then it will be this one. That loss could happen against a Money in the Bank winner too. Just saying.

Lacey Evans was shown backstage in a locker room. Evans reminded us that Lynch has two title matches at Money in the Bank and said that Becky is going to lose. Evans said that when she teaches Lynch about a Woman’s Right, she’ll be Becky Black Eye and Lacey will be the Raw Women’s Champion.
Shane McMahon made his entrance with Tom Phillips noting that Shane was making a rare in-ring appearance on Smackdown. Greg Hamilton gave Shane his special “best in the world” entrance.
(Commercial)
Aleister Black did a promo in a darkened room. Black spoke about how his opponents who try to get inside his head will not like the place that they try and venture into. There wasn’t much to it as he ended it with his “fade to black” catchphrase.
The end of The Usos entrance was shown. Roman Reigns’ entrance was also shown. The heel side were already in the ring.

Roman Reigns and The Usos (Jimmy and Jey Uso) vs. Shane McMahon, Elias, Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Bryan knocked down Jimmy with a shoulder tackle while Graves and Saxton bickered about things. Elias tagged in against Jey, worked him over with chops, Jey missed a top rope attack and Elias came back with a running clothesline to knock Jey down. Shane tagged in leading to submission attempt on Jey by attacking both legs of Jey. Elias drove his knee onto the knee on Jey while Graves talked about how great the Shane team was since they followed Shane’s lead. Bryan with a running dropkick to the left leg of Jey while it was up against the ropes. Jey was on the top, he was distracted by Elias and Bryan shoved Jey off the top into the barricade at ringside.
(Commercial)
Rowan continued the heel attack on Jey with a running splash. Elias tagged in with a body slam on Jey. Shane tagged in with punches on Jey. At least Shane’s worked punches look better than they used to look twenty years ago. Jey hit a spinning kick to Shane’s head. Reigns got a tag against Bryan with Reigns hitting three clotheslines. Reigns worked over Bryan with corner clotheslines followed by a boot to the face. Elias interference distracted Reigns, so Bryan kicked Reigns in the ribs. Elias tagged in with punches followed by a jumping knee to the face for two. Rowan with a body slam. Rowan did his head squeeze move that looks nasty, but it also looks silly. Reigns with a boot to chest, but Rowan took him down with a back elbow to stop a comeback attempt.

(Commercial)
The match continued with Reigns making a comeback as he dropped Elias with a Samoan Drop. Jimmy got the tag against Bryan with Bryan avoiding a superkick. Jimmy hit superkicks to Shane, Elias and Rowan. Jey tagged in, double superkick by Usos on Rowan and a double superkick on Bryan as well. Shane broke up the pin attempt. Jey dumped Shane out of the ring. Elias hit a Drift Away on Jimmy, superkick by Jey on Elias and Bryan hit the running knee on Jey for a two count as Reigns broke up the pin attempt. Rowan hit a clothesline on Reigns to send him out of the ring. When Rowan left the ring, Reigns dropped him with a Superman Punch. Elias shoved Reigns into the steel steps at ringside. Shane went up top and hit Jey with the Coast to Coast dropkick for the pinfall win. Phillips noted that Shane tagged himself in even though we couldn’t really see it and that’s why Shane was able to pin Jey. It went 19 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Shane McMahon, Elias, Daniel Bryan and Rowan
Analysis: ***1/4 That was very good with an exciting finish where everybody got involved with some big moves. It was a long match that probably went five minutes longer than they needed to go, but there was a lot of star power here, so I understand why they went as long as they did. The Usos and Reigns worked well together, which is no surprise since they are cousins that grew up together. The heels winning made sense since it was a 4 on 3 match where they were in control for most of the match. I would have rather seen Elias get the pin to put him over because he needs it, but Shane’s finisher is still impressive nearly two decades later (I remember RVD doing it first).

Post match, The Miz ran down to the ring with a steel chair. Miz hit Elias and Rowan with steel chairs while Shane ran away. The Usos hit a double superkick on Bryan. Reigns hit a Spear on Rowan and the faces stood tall in the ring while the heels retreated.
Analysis: I am confident in saying that The Miz will beat Shane at MITB. I’m not sure about Reigns vs. Elias because I think Elias should win in cheap fashion and the feud can continue from there.

The Firefly Fun House video aired featuring Bray Wyatt. It was the same one that aired on Raw that ended with Wyatt putting on some creepy looking mask showing he had a dark side to him. Yowie Wowie!
The tag team of Asuka and Kairi Sane made their entrance along with their manager Paige. Good pop for them.
(Commercial)
Ember Moon did a cell phone promo talking about how she’s going to win at Money in the Bank.
Bayley did a cell phone promo saying she’s not just a hugger or a weak link, she will be the winner.
Analysis: I think Moon or Bayley are both good picks for Money in the Bank. One of them might be my pick in our preview on Friday.

The announcers went over some of the Money in the Bank matches including the new match that will see Daniel Bryan and Rowan defend the Smackdown Tag Team Title against The Usos at Money in the Bank on the Kickoff Show.
Analysis: That’s odd for Daniel Bryan to go from being the WWE Champion at WrestleMania to being in a Kickoff Show match at the next PPV. I know that his post-WrestleMania injury caused plans to change for a few weeks, but when he came back, they should have found a way to get him on the main show. For those that say being on the Kickoff Show isn’t a big deal, if that’s true then why are Shane McMahon and Triple H never in matches on the Kickoff Show? Think about it.

The IIconics duo of Peyton Royce and Billie Kay were on commentary for this women’s tag team match since they are the Women’s Tag Team Champions.
Paige did a promo shouting out England for a cheap pop. Paige announced a tag team name for Asuka and Kairi Sane: The Kabuki Warriors. Paige said they are the future of the women’s tag team division. The fans barely reacted to the tag team name.
Analysis: The tag team name isn’t the greatest, but it’s better than having no name. I’ve seen a lot of “Kabuki Experience” jokes mocking the original Viking Experience name.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville made their entrance. Mandy mocked Paige for naming a tag team and Sonya mocked the royal baby name Archie. Mandy said that they will be calling her Miss Money in the Bank after she wins the ladder match this Sunday. After that, they will be going after the Women’s Tag Team Championships, so the future of division are Fire and Desire.
Analysis: Mandy’s promo delivery is good. Sonya’s promo delivery was poor especially while trying to mock the baby name. Weak material too.

The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane) w/Paige vs. Fire and Desire (Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville)
Asuka hit a running hip attack on Deville. Sane tagged in, Asuka with a bulldog and Sane with a dropkick. Sane hit a running forearm on Rose on the floor. Asuka hit a running hip attack on Deville to knock her off the apron to the floor.
(Commercial)
They returned from the break with Sane hitting an leg whip on Rose, but Deville saved Rose from a corner attack. Rose with a running knee on Sane for a two count. Deville tagged in with a running knee attack on Sane for two. Rose stretched Sane across her knee in a backbreaker position. The IIconics were really annoying on commentary, which is their gimmick. Sane broke free from Rose leading to Asuka tagging with a dropkick and a knee to the face. Asuka with a release German Suplex on Rose, a kick to the face and the Asuka Lock submission, but Deville saved Rose. Deville tagged in with kicks to the ribs of Asuka only for Asuka to come back with kicks of her own. Deville with a spinebuster on Asuka. Rose tagged in, tried a cover, but Asuka hooked the arms and covered Rose for the pinfall win. That was the pin from Lynch on Rousey at WrestleMania although these two women executed it perfectly. The match went about nine minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka and Kairi Sane)

Analysis: **1/2 It was a solid tag team match with the faces getting the win thanks to Asuka’s clever counter. I think it made sense for The Kabuki Warriors to get the victory since they are likely the next challengers for The IIconics while Rose and Deville are a heel team. I also think that Rose might get more of a singles push leading to this team splitting up in the near future.
Post match, Deville was shocked by what happened while Rose was freaking out in the ring. The Kabuki Warriors and Paige walked away as winners. The IIconics laughed about it.
Kayla Braxton was shown backstage looking shaken because she was about to interview Lars Sullivan, who makes people nervous.

A video package aired about Lars Sullivan. The same Sullivan that was fined $100,000 by WWE this week for offensive comments in the past before he was in WWE.
Sullivan was standing beside Braxton making her look small. She asked if he would comment on the destruction, but she was nervous and left before he could say anything. Sullivan looked ahead without saying anything.

Kevin Owens said that we are moments away from the Kevin Owens Show with his guest Kofi Kingston. Owens said he’s not facing New Day at Money in the Bank, he’s facing Kingston. Owens wondered if Kingston can stand on his own – he claimed he knew the answer and on Sunday, the WWE Universe will know the answer too when Owens breaks his back, his leg or one of his shoulders. New Day’s music played to end that promo.
Kofi Kingston made his entrance alone with the WWE Championship around his waist and a tray of pancakes that he tossed into the crowd as usual.
(Commercial)
There were two leather chairs in the ring and a black carpet for the Kevin Owens Show as Kingston sat in a chair. There were about ten minutes left in the show.

Kevin Owens Show with Kofi Kingston
Kingston said he was invited to the Kevin Owens Show and here he is. Kofi said that on Sunday at Money in the Bank, Owens will get his shot at the WWE Title. Kingston introduced the host of the KO Show…Kevin Owens. There was no Owens, so some fans chanted “Kofi Show” and Kofi said he liked that name.
Owens appeared on the video screen from his spot in the backstage area. Owens said for the first time in 11 years, Kofi finds himself on his own. That’s not really true since Kofi was a singles wrestler for like six years. Owens talked about Kofi getting to share his WrestleMania moment with his brothers from New Day and his family. Owens said that reality begins now while adding that Kofi is only WWE Champion because of the New Day. Owens reminded Kingston that he is the most dangerous man in WWE and here is proof.

A video package aired showing some of Kevin Owens’ moments in WWE like when he attacked the “Babe Ruth of WWE” John Cena (that’s the moniker Vince has given Cena now) in May 2015 and then Owens won championship after championship. They showed clips of Owens destroying people with Powerbombs including Xavier Woods. Owen said that all that is left now is that he can take what is his…the WWE Title.

Kingston told Owens that didn’t prove anything and he’s tired of hearing him talk. Kofi cleared the ring of the leather chairs. Owens left the backstage area and made his entrance in the arena.
Owens went down the aisle, then he paused and went closer to the ring. Kingston had enough of it, so they got into a brawl in the aisle when Sami Zayn showed up for a cheap attack on Kingston. Zayn is from Raw so that’s another Wild Card guy on Smackdown this week. Owens and his buddy Zayn attacked Kingston until the New Day music played and Xavier Woods showed up for the save. Woods punched Zayn, but Owens sent Woods flying into the steel ring post at ringside. Owens whipped Kingston into the steel steps at ringside.
Owens and Zayn were in control of Kingston in the ring. Fans chanted “New Day Rocks” and Zayn mocked them for the chant by doing a funny dance. Owens trash talked Kingston saying he’s going to leave just enough for Kingston to make it to Sunday where Owens will take his WWE Title. Owens went for a cannonball attack, but Kingston moved and Owens hit the turnbuckle. Zayn worked over Kingston with punches. Kingston avoided a Helluva Kick from Zayn and hit a Trouble in Paradise kick to Zayn. Kingston stood tall in the ring while Owens escaped up the aisle. Kingston hugged his buddy Woods at ringside while having a final staredown with Owens. That was the end of Smackdown.

Analysis: It was fine as a show ending angle to get people excited about their WWE Title match on Sunday. Zayn was really there just to take that Trouble in Paradise kick and give Owens the advantage for a few minutes. The build for Kingston vs. Owens has been effective in terms of making it feel like a more personal feud instead of simply a WWE Title match. It feels like a rivalry that’s still in the early stages, so I’m looking forward to the match at Money in the Bank and I hope that it continues after MITB as well.

Three Stars of the Show

  1. Andrade
  2. Kofi Kingston
  3. Roman Reigns

The Scoreboard
6.5 out of 10
Last week: 7.5
2019 Average: 6.98 (Raw is 5.5)
Last 5 Weeks: 7.5, 6, 8, 7, 6
2019 High: 8.5 (February 26)
2019 Low: 5 (January 15)

Final Thoughts
I give this week’s Smackdown a 6.5 out of 10.
It was a good edition of Smackdown, but not great. I liked the Fatal 4-Way match a lot and if they got a few more minutes it could have been special. The 4 on 3 tag team match went a bit too long for my liking, but the finish was booked well. Solid promos for most of the night and they build to Money in the Bank matches in a decent way.

There were five Raw people on the show for the Wild Card Rule in terms of being in the arena: The Miz, The Usos, Ricochet, Sami Zayn. Shane claimed that Miz wasn’t a Wild Card, so perhaps that was the reason for it. Lacey Evans doesn’t count since it was only backstage. That means five people instead of four according to the rule, but I guess they count The Usos as one entity? It’s not like WWE ever tries to explain this stuff.

Here’s the lineup for WWE Money in the Bank on May 19 with 11 matches announced.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. AJ Styles
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Kevin Owens
Men’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Baron Corbin, Drew McIntyre, Ricochet, Ali, Randy Orton, Andrade, Finn Balor, Sami Zayn
Women’s Money in the Bank Ladder Match: Alexa Bliss, Natalya, Naomi, Dana Brooke, Bayley, Mandy Rose, Ember Moon, Carmella
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Charlotte Flair
Roman Reigns vs. Elias
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Steel Cage Match: Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
United States Championship: Samoa Joe (c) vs. Rey Mysterio
Cruiserweight Championship: Tony Nese (c) vs. Ariya Daivari
Smackdown Tag Team Championships: Daniel Bryan and Rowan (c) vs. The Usos (KICKOFF SHOW)

We will have a preview up on TJRWrestling this Friday.
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John Canton
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