Live from Laredo, Texas, this is Smackdown Live for episode #1033. 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.
Kofi Kingston, the WWE Champion, made his entrance with pancakes and his New Day buddy Xavier Woods. No Big E this week after getting attacked a few weeks ago. Good pop for Kingston.
Kingston said that life is crazy and it’s full of surprises. Kingston said that over the last eleven years, he thought he had seen it all and done it all. He gave a shoutout to pancakes. There was a “Kofi” chant. Kingston said it hasn’t all been highs, there have been lows too and he prides himself on being able to fight through those lows. Because of that, he had the opportunity of a lifetime when he won the WWE Title at WrestleMania. That led to a “you deserve it” chant. Kingston said that amazing as it was to win the WWE Title in front of the world and his family, what is most important to him is to inspire people to believe that anything is possible.
There was a video package that showed Kofi’s trip to his home country of Ghana with Kofi talking about how it had been 26 years since he had been there. Kingston was shown meeting people all over Ghana including the President of Ghana. Kingston was emotional after the video.
Analysis: That’s a long trip that Kofi just returned from and then after Smackdown, he’s flying out to Saudi Arabia for Super Showdown.
Kingston talked about how great it was to go back to the place he was born and so awesome to be back there after 26 years. Kingston said it was an amazing feeling to look at the children there that were just like him and inspire them. Kingston spoke about seeing his grandmother as well as other family members, but here comes Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler said that he respects Kofi’s journey, but this isn’t about him. Ziggler claimed that this is about him, which led to a video package.
There was a video package showing Ziggler’s career highlights talking about his 14-year career showing moments like winning Money in the Bank to become the World Heavyweight Champion. They also showed him with the Intercontinental and United States Titles. He said that in all time, he has got nothing in return.
Ziggler claimed that he gave everything to us, he gave his soul to WWE and it’s Kingston that gets to have the WrestleMania moment and wins the WWE Championship. Ziggler said it should have been him. Ziggler told Kingston he was a hero with Ziggler repeating his new catchphrase that “it should have been me.”
Kingston said that nobody is saying that Dolph isn’t a great wrestler. Kingston reminded him that Ziggler beat Kingston for his first IC Title and US Title. Kingston said there is also another video what Ziggler is about. A clip aired from December 19, 2017 on Smackdown when Ziggler gave up the US Title in the ring.
Kingston told Ziggler that he keeps saying it should have been him, but when things don’t go Dolph’s way, he quit and he turned his back by taking himself out of the game. Kingston said that no matter how hard things got for him, no matter how bleak things were, he never quit on himself, his brothers or the WWE Universe. That led to a “Kofi” chant. Kofi said that Ziggler claims it should have been him, but as long as Kofi is WWE Champion, it will never be Ziggler.
Ziggler pointed to the video screen leading to another video. They showed the clip of Ziggler attacking Kingston on Smackdown from two weeks ago. Ziggler stared back at Kingston: “Friday, it will be me.” Ziggler left.
Analysis: That was okay. It ran a bit long at nearly 15 minutes and I found it awkward that both guys had video packages ready because that makes it look too cheesy. It's just lame when you're out there saying "I'm going to beat you in our match...and now watch this." I just don't like that style of promo. Could you imagine Ric Flair and Dusty Rhodes doing an intense promo, then stopping for a video package? It's not needed. The trash talk was good, though, so I wasn’t bored by the promos. I just don’t think the video packages are necessary.
Kevin Owens made his entrance joined by his buddy Sami Zayn as Ziggler walked to the back.
Analysis: Owens and Zayn are not a part of Super Showdown on Friday.
This match was announced earlier on Tuesday. The bell rang after the break.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn vs. Xavier Woods and Kofi Kingston
Woods with a dropkick on Zayn, who is a Raw guy, but the Wild Card Rule is in effect if that even matters at this point. Kingston tagged in with a double axhandle to the arm of Zayn while Ziggler was watching a TV backstage. Kingston worked over Owens with punches, but Owens came back with kicks and punches. Kingston hit a dropkick on Owens. Zayn was back in, but he fell victim to the unicorn stampede in the corner by Kingston and Woods with Woods hitting a corner dropkick for two. Zayn bailed to the floor with Owens joining him, so Kingston hit a dive over the top onto Owens. Kingston kicked Zayn into the barricade. Owens held onto the foot of Woods, so Zayn kicked Woods and the heels took control. Owens tossed Woods into the barricade. Back in the ring, senton splash by Owens got two on Woods. Owens with a short arm clothesline plus another senton splash for two leading to a break.
The match returned with Owens in control, but Woods knocked him off the turnbuckle and Woods hit a missile dropkick. Kingston got the hot tag, he got a good pop, leaping clothesline to Zayn and a boom drop double leg drop. Owens grabbed Kofi’s leg, but Woods took out Owens on the floor. Kingston avoided a Zayn attack, kick to the chest by Kofi and Kingston came back with a Trouble in Paradise kick on Zayn for the pinfall win after 11 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods
Analysis: **1/2 It was a standard tag team match to put over Kingston to give him the momentum going into Super Showdown. This was the most basic tag team match that you're going to see. Kingston got the hot tag as well as the win because he’s the only guy here that’s in a featured match at Super Showdown (I assume Woods is in the battle royal). It seems like Zayn loses nearly every match he has, which is a shame, but that’s his role right now.
After the match, Dolph Ziggler snuck into the ring and hit a superkick on Kingston. Ziggler also hit a superkick on Woods. Ziggler stared at Kofi and left the ring.
Analysis: Cheap heat to add to the Kingston match against Ziggler at Super Showdown. Kingston should get the win there.
Still to come: Goldberg is on Smackdown for the first time ever.
Shane McMahon did a promo from the office. He asked for footage from Raw, so they showed a clip of Reigns getting attacked by Shane, Drew McIntyre and The Revival on Raw. Shane said that this all came about because Roman Reigns said that Shane doesn’t stand a chance against him. Shane reminded Reigns that he’s better than Reigns and he’s the best in the world. Shane said he’ll call him out.
Alexa Bliss made her entrance in her ring gear to host her Moment of Bliss talk show.
A Moment of Bliss Hosted by Alexa Bliss with Bayley
Alexa Bliss said that it was an incredible honor to be one of WWE’s wildcards from WWE’s more prestigious brand Monday Night Raw. That was heelish even though she was like a face on Raw. Bayley was introduced with the Smackdown Women’s Championship around her waist and she was not in her ring gear.
Bliss drank some coffee, she complained about it and said some blue brand incompetent person made it poorly. Bliss had another coffee brought out to her and Bliss told the guy to put it in her other mug. Bayley wondered when Bliss would ask her a question, Bliss said she’s waiting for her coffee and then Bliss started. Bliss said that Bayley had a good night at Money in the Bank where she became Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bayley said it took a lot of years to get to that one good night. Bliss talked about how she cashed in Money in the Bank to win the Raw Women’s Title on Nia Jax last year. Bliss bragged about being a two-time Smackdown Women’s Champion and said that the title meant something more back then. Bayley talked about the future and she’s excited about the women’s division. The coffee guy brought Alexa’s coffee mug out and Bayley knocked the mug down to the floor. Bliss got in Bayley’s face and then Carmella made her entrance in her ring gear.
Carmella said if they want to talk about former Smackdown Women’s Champions and miss Money in the Bank, you can’t have that conversation without mentioning her. Carmella pointed out that Bliss wasn’t even on Smackdown, yet she was challenging Bayley. Carmella said that if anybody should get a shot at the champion, it should be her. Charlotte Flair made her entrance also in her ring gear looking good in a pink peacock robe.
Charlotte Flair said hi to the ladies on the stage. She said she couldn’t help herself. Charlotte said that she just talked to her good friend Shane McMahon and he informed her that there will be a match tonight to see who will face Bayley for the Smackdown Women’s Championship at Stomping Grounds on June 23. That match will be Carmella vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Charlotte Flair. The announcers mentioned that Bliss wasn’t even a Smackdown superstar as if that is supposed to matter at this point.
Analysis: It was a typical “Moment of Bliss” talk show that featured interruptions. The coffee bits with Bliss are not as funny as she probably thinks, but I guess her gimmick is to be a “coffee snob” now? I don’t know. It seemed like Bliss did a face turn on Raw, yet she acted more like a heel here, so hold off on officially calling her a face.
The Smackdown announce team of Tom Phillips, Corey Graves and Byron Saxton talked about how excited they were for Goldberg on Smackdown as well as Goldberg vs. The Undertaker at Super Showdown.
Carmella was shown walking backstage where she found R-Truth, who had the 24/7 Title with him. Truth said that he’s having to defend this title 24 hours a day, 7 days a week even on holidays. Truth said he’s waiting for Shane McMahon to call him back. Shane called Carmella’s phone, she said hell to Shane and Truth asked who it was. Truth said that title is ruining his life. Truth said he was sorry for interrupting Shane McMahon appreciation night last week. Truth was told he would have a match right now and his opponent was on his way to the ring.
Analysis: Truth was entertaining doing the phone conversation. Truth plays his goofball character so well.
Elias was in the ring with an electric guitar with Phillips wondering if Elias is Truth’s opponent. That led to a break.
R-Truth made his entrance face Elias in a 24/7 Title match while other midcard wrestlers surrounded the ring for this lumberjack match. It was announced that no other superstars can pin the champion during the match.
24/7 Title Lumberjack Match: R-Truth vs. Elias
Truth got a rollup on Elias, but then Elias tossed Truth out of the ring. Back in the ring, Elias with a jumping knee to the face and Elias pinned Truth for the victory in a match that ended after one minute.
Winner by pinfall and New 24/7 Champion: Elias
After the match was over, the wrestlers went into the ring to go after Elias and his 24/7 Title, but Elias managed to avoid the brawl and leave the ring. R-Truth found Elias on the floor and Elias went under the ring. The bell rang with Truth emerging with the 24/7 Title again while they were under the ring. It was not shown, but we are left to just assume R-Truth won.
Winner by pinfall and New 24/7 Champion: R-Truth
Analysis: Some of the guys at ringside are on Raw, yet WWE won’t mention the Wild Card Rule that is basically ignored at this point.
Following Smackdown, WWE posted a video of Truth pinning Elias under the ring.
— WWE (@WWE) June 5, 2019
After Truth won the title, Drake Maverick tried attacking him. Maverick did a ridiculous leap that came up short (it's funny because he's short!) as Truth jumped the barricade and ran away through the crowd.
Analysis: The comedy title just doesn’t interest me that much. I know they are trying to do funny things with it, but it just makes me groan. I know it was a USA Network call to bring in this title and WWE agreed to it. That doesn’t mean I am entertained by it. To R-Truth’s credit, he is fun to watch most of the time. It’s just odd that this comedy title gets TV time while some other titles are ignored.
Shane McMahon was shown walking backstage because he’s up next at the top of hour two.
Aleister Black said that last week he issued a challenge for somebody to face him, but nobody stepped up. Black said that his track record speaks for itself. Black claimed that what he inflicts isn’t exactly your daddy’s WWE. Black said that if somebody, anybody comes knocking at that door, he’ll sit there waiting impatiently until somebody, anybody knocks on his door and picks a fight with him. Black had a wry smile on his face to end it.
Analysis: Good promo. I’m not sure who his first feud will be with, but it’s a nice way to introduce his character as a guy that’s willing to fight anybody.
Let’s Hear from Shane McMahon
Shane McMahon made his entrance with The Revival joining him as Phillips claimed that they make up one wild card exemption tonight. Really? At least they’re trying even though it doesn’t make sense.
Shane asked for and received the big “best in the world” introduction from Greg Hamilton, who did a great job. Graves said “The Ham” did well. Some fans chanted “CM Punk” but then it stopped. Shane put over The Revival for how amazing they were in dismantling The Usos on Raw. Shane cued up a replay from Raw.
A clip aired from Raw with Shane, The Revival and Drew McIntyre destroying Roman Reigns, which included a Shane spear along with a yell where he mocked Reigns.
Shane said that was last night and imagine what he’ll do to Reigns at Super Showdown. Shane claimed that last night was like training a dog. Shane said there’s that one dog that is a little more high spirited kinda like Roman is and that means you have to take it up a notch, which he’ll do to Reigns at Super Showdown. Shane said that at Super Showdown he’ll neuter the “Big Dog” Reigns, which led to the Reigns interruption.
Roman Reigns appeared on the stage. Dawson and Wilder charged at Reigns, so Reigns hit a Superman Punch on Dawson and a Superman Punch on Wilder as well. That made The Revival look like idiots. Reigns went down to ringside, but Drew McIntyre (another Raw guy) showed up with a Claymore Kick to Roman’s head. McIntyre brought Reigns into the ring leading to another spear from Shane on Reigns. Shane celebrated to end it.
Analysis: It was more of the same from Raw when Shane had the advantage. The surprise attack from McIntyre was obvious to everybody watching the show, yet we are supposed to think that Reigns wasn’t ready for it. If Reigns loses to Shane at Super Showdown I’ll be surprised.
Still to come: Goldberg is there. The women’s triple threat match is next.
The end of the Alexa Bliss intro was shown while the other two women were in the ring.
The winner of this match gets a Smackdown Women’s Championship match against Bayley at Stomping Grounds on June 23.
Charlotte Flair vs. Alexa Bliss vs. Carmella
Flair dumped Bliss out of the ring. Flair sent Carmella to the apron where Carmella kicked her in the ribs and Bliss kicked Carmella out of the ring. Bliss with a sunset flip into a pin on Flair, but Carmella broke it up and Carmella sent Bliss out of the ring. Carmella applied her Code of Silence submission, Flair countered and Bliss went back into the ring with a punch to Carmella. Bliss with an arm drag and Flair came back with a boot to the face. Carmella with two kicks to knock Flair down. My favorite Mandy Rose and her buddy Sonya Deville walked down because of their issues with Carmella. Bliss grabbed Carmella and sent her into the barricade at ringside. Flair worked over Bliss with chops and she tossed Bliss back in the ring where Bliss hit a dropkick on Flair for two.
The match continued with Carmella going for a move off the top on Flair while against the turnbuckle, Flair tried to block, but then Carmella connected with the hurricanrana off the top. Carmella did her moonwalk leading to the bronco buster on Bliss in the corner and then Flair hit a clothesline on Carmella. Flair slapped on the Figure Eight submission on Carmella, who was near the ropes and Bliss jumped off the top with the Twisted Bliss splash on Flair. Carmella broke up the pin at two. Good spot there. The crowd reacted to that in a big way. Bliss drove her knees into Carmella’s ribs, then Carmella moved, Bliss hit the mat and Flair was back in there with the Natural Selection neckbreaker on Bliss for two as Carmella broke up the pin. Carmella went to the apron where Flair hit her with a boot to the face to knock her down. Bliss with a rollup using tights on Flair. Flair kicked the knee of Bliss and Carmella went back in with a superkick on Flair. Rose and Deville grabbed Carmella’s legs to trip her up, which was legal because there’s no disqualification. Bliss hit a DDT on Carmella for the pinfall win after about nine minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Alexa Bliss
The win meant that Bliss, who is on Raw, gets a Smackdown Women’s Title match against Bayley at Stomping Grounds on June 23.
Analysis: *** That was a pretty good match. The last few minutes of the match were well done with some believable nearfalls leading to the pin breakups and I think it was put together very well. The finish was cheap with Carmella getting screwed over by Mandy and Sonya, so it was fitting for Bliss to win that way since she is a heel here even though she was acting like a face on Raw. It’s not a surprise that Flair was protected by having Carmella take the pin. Flair doesn’t get beat that often.
A replay was shown of what happened on Raw when Brock Lesnar beat up Seth Rollins aid refused to cash in Money in the Bank. He told Paul Heyman he’d cash in on “Friday” at Super Showdown.
The announcers said that Seth Rollins has vowed he will be at Super Showdown even though he is dealing with injuries. Rollins has to defend the Universal Title against Baron Corbin on Tuesday.
Kayla Braxton was shown getting ready for her interview with Lars Sullivan.
Lars Sullivan was introduced by Kayla Braxton for Sullivan’s first interview. Braxton was nervous about it. Sullivan did a slow walk to the ring and he was in his ring gear. Sullivan faces the Lucha House Party trio this Friday at Super Showdown.
Kayla asked Sullivan what drives a man like him to do the things that he does. Sullivan wondered if she would ask a nightingale before they sing their sweet song or a lion why they stalk their prey and viciously rip it apart? Sullivan wondered why she would ask what drives a man like him. Sullivan said that that he is no man. He said that for his entire life he has been described by one word and he asked her if she knows what the word is? She couldn’t speak. Sullivan said it’s okay because he’s been called it his entire life. Kayla: “Freak.” Sullivan said when a lion performs its primary function they call it a lion, but when he does it, they use that particular word. Sullivan said that his primary function is to hurt, maim, dissect and dehumanize people. His primary function is to show us that the world is pain, agony and the real life freak of nature like him. Sullivan asked if she liked nursery rhymes and she nodded her head. Sullivan mentioned three blind mice when talking about the Lucha House Party saying a beautiful portrait will be painted with their bodily fluids. Sullivan laughed to end the interview.
Analysis: That was lame. I know they’re trying to portray Sullivan as a psycho type of heel with no remorse, but the dialogue was weak. At least he wasn't reading a poem like Heidenreich back in the day.
Goldberg’s locker room door was shown.
Andrade entered with Zelina Vega.
Apollo Crews entered for a match, but Andrade attacked him before the bell rang. Andrade beat up Crews with punches and kicks. Andrade hit the Hammerlock DDT on Crews. Finn Balor ran out for the save. Balor with a double foot stomp. Vega grabbed Balor’s foot to stop him from continuing the attack. Andrade hit a Hammerlock DDT on Balor and then he left.
Analysis: No match. It felt rushed. It was done to add some heat to the Andrade vs. Balor match at Super Showdown on Friday. Balor should get the win at Super Showdown since he’s in the “Demon” Balor gear.
A video aired from Raw with The Undertaker delivering a quick message to Goldberg. They included the “rest in peace” part that was not on Raw due to the timing of the show, but he did say it after Raw in a video that WWE posted on social media. Goldberg is next.
There was a clip of the trash talk between Triple H and Randy Orton on Raw to promote their Super Showdown match on Friday.
Let’s Hear from Goldberg
It’s main event promo time. Goldberg was shown walking backstage from the locker room with the security guys leading the way because that’s his famous way to enter the arena.
Goldberg entered the arena and got a good pop. It’s so weird watching him enter without any pyro, which was a huge reason why his entrance was so spectacular in his WCW days. Goldberg was introduced as a WWE Hall of Famer and he got a nice reaction from the crowd. Goldberg faces The Undertaker at Super Showdown on Friday.
Goldberg stood in the ring as fans chanted “Goldberg” for him. He thanked the fans. Goldberg said that he has been waiting over 20 years to experience what it would be like to be in this ring one on one with The Undertaker. Now, he finally gets that match he’s always wanted. Goldberg said when listening to Taker on Raw last night, he made an interesting point saying he didn’t want to share the ring with the family man Goldberg, Taker wants to share the ring with the ass-kicking, icon Goldberg. Goldberg said he appreciated the advice. Goldberg said he left the family man Goldberg at home leading to more “Goldberg” chants.
Goldberg, who was very sweaty by this point, said that on Friday night he can guarantee Taker that he’ll get the Goldberg that he’s been watching for 20 years and wondering how you stalk up against this. Goldberg said Undertaker get the ass-kicking Goldberg that he (Taker) asked for. Goldberg said on Friday night we’ll all find out who the better man is because “Undertaker…you’re next to rest in peace.”
GONG! The lights went out and The Undertaker was standing behind Goldberg while a purple light was on them in the ring. Goldberg turned around, stared at Taker and fans chanted “holy shit” as they had a staredown. The GONG tolled again, the lights went out, it rang a second time and Undertaker was gone when the lights came back on. Goldberg was smiling.
Goldberg: “So that’s it. Friday night it is then. Big man, bring your jock strap and tighten that sumbitch up tight because it’s going to be a ride.” Goldberg left looking intense.
Analysis: That was good for what it intended to be. Goldberg was intense although it was hard not to be distracted by his sweating. I liked what Goldberg said about leaving the family man at home and how he’s going to bring the intensity to Super Showdown because he’s waited 20 years for this match. It’s exactly what he should have said. When The Undertaker showed up, the fans popped big for it and it was smart not to do any physicality. Save it for Super Showdown if fans want to see it. That’s the right way to do it.
There were three minutes left in the show. The announce team promoted the Super Showdown lineup to end this week’s Smackdown. I have the card at the bottom of this post. They also showed the clip of Shane McMahon hitting a Spear on Roman Reigns and the staredown between Goldberg and Undertaker. That was it.
Three Stars of the Show
- Goldberg – First time on Smackdown.
- Kofi Kingston
- Alexa Bliss
5.5 out of 10
Last week: 6
2019 Average: 6.87 (Raw is 5.45)
Last 5 Weeks: 6, 7, 6.5, 7.5, 6
2019 High: 8.5 (February 26)
2019 Low: 5 (January 15)
I give this week’s Smackdown a 5.5 out of 10.
It felt like a below average Smackdown and I gave it the same score as Raw, which is not good for Smackdown. There were only two actual matches on this show, which is a shame because normally Smackdown will have four matches. I say “actual matches” because the comedy 24/7 Title really doesn’t count in terms of producing matches and Andrade’s match never got going. The build to Super Showdown matches have been fine, but it’s not like that show has a great lineup either.
There’s no question that Smackdown has been hurt by the presence of too many Raw people. Instead of seeing Smackdown wrestlers on the show and booked in a good way like we had seen in the past, there’s less time for matches and less of the actual Smackdown talent on the show. The “Wild Card Rule” has hurt Smackdown. It’s only going to lead to more wrestlers getting frustrated by lack of TV time too.
Other than the Goldberg/Undertaker staredown that was a fun moment, there was nothing else that really stood out this week.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Super Showdown this Friday, June 7th in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Here’s what we know so far.
The Undertaker vs. Bill Goldberg
Triple H vs. Randy Orton
Roman Reigns vs. Shane McMahon
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin
WWE Championship: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Braun Strowman vs. Bobby Lashley
Intercontinental Championship: “Demon” Finn Balor (c) vs. Andrade
Lars Sullivan vs. Lucha House Party (Kalisto, Gran Metalik and Lince Dorado)
50-man battle royal