Live from Sacramento, California, this is Smackdown Live for episode #1034. 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.
Smackdown began with the introduction of The Miz because he was there to host his Miz TV talk show and he was in his ring gear.
The Miz had a t-shirt that said “My Mood” on it that had a picture of his dad George Mizanin in a fighting pose on it. The Miz said he was instructed to read a script to introduce his guests for the show, Drew McIntyre and Shane McMahon, but instead of saying “Best in the World” he said “Breast in the World” and then settled on “Pest in the World” to introduce Shane. The announce team was Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton and Corey Graves as usual.
Shane McMahon entered the arena along with his buddies Drew McIntyre and Elias. That led to a video package showing Shane’s victory over Roman Reigns at Super Showdown thanks to help from Drew McIntyre. Reigns faces McIntyre at Stomping Grounds on June 23.
Shane mentioned that Miz messed Shane’s introduction, so Shane made Greg “The Ham” Hamilton do the “best in the world” introduction. Greg does a great job with it. Shane invited Elias to join them as a musical guest on the talk show. Elias played his guitar for a bit and the fans chanted “you suck” at them.
Shane said that at Super Showdown he did what he said he was going to do when he defeated Roman Reigns. Shane added that Reigns shouldn’t be ashamed because he lost to the Best in the World. Miz told Shane that all of his accomplishments were tainted. Miz mentioned that Shane wasn’t even in that World Cup tournament, Miz only lost to Shane at WrestleMania on a technicality and Shane got lucky at Money in the Bank. Miz told him that Reigns beat up Shane at Super Showdown as well. Shane told Miz to do his job and Miz said that Roman did an interview.
They showed the clip of Roman Reigns being interviewed after Super Showdown just like they showed it on Raw. Anyway, Roman is going after Drew next.
McIntyre said that he is not like anybody else in WWE. When he hurts people, he enjoys it, he has no remorse and no pity. McIntyre said that his Claymore Kick is a weapon that nobody else has, so at Stomping Grounds, he will kick Roman Reigns’ head off. Shane said he agreed.
The Miz said that Drew could match Reigns, but being Shane’s lackey will get him nowhere. Miz told Drew that Shane will stab him in the back just like he did to Miz. Shane said he could tell Miz has resentment. Shane claimed he has Roman’s number and that’s zero. Shane said that it’s 0-1 for Reigns against Shane and 0-2 for Miz against Shane. Miz called Shane a talentless hack that was lucky to be born a McMahon. Shane said that Miz was born in a cesspool with a baked potato (Miz dad). Shane said he thinks Miz wants a shot at Shane, so why not do it right here and right now, but McIntyre got in the face of The Miz.
Shane told Miz that first, he has to beat Elias and then he has to beat Drew McIntyre and if Miz can do that, he can face Shane one more time. Shane said let’s get this going. It took them 16 minutes to get through all of that.
Analysis: This took too long to get the point. Everybody watching this knew it was going to lead to a match, but WWE feels compelled to show replays of things we already saw and drag it out before getting to the match. We don’t need 15-minute promos two times a week every week. I’m also not interested in the matches they set up because Miz has been booked so poorly as a face. I like him just fine, but if they book him to lose big matches all the time, it does more harm than good.
Elias (w/Shane McMahon and Drew McIntyre) vs. The Miz
Elias was in control. He hit a double knee attack followed by a chinlock. Miz with a jawbreaker, then punches, kicks and Miz hit two running knee attacks. Elias came back with a jumping knee strike. Miz went for a roundhouse kick, but Elias avoided it and hit a spinning Powerbomb for a two count. Elias went up top, he jumped off with an elbow drop and Miz moved. Miz hit a Skull Crushing Finale on Elias for the pinfall win after three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: The Miz
Analysis: * It was an easy win to put over Miz. Elias has been aligned with Shane McMahon for a couple of months now, but he has not looked impressive in the ring.
Drew McIntyre went into the ring to start the next match.
Drew McIntyre vs. The Miz
McIntyre was in control of the match until Miz sent McIntyre shoulder first into the ring post. Miz with a dropkick and Miz sent McIntyre into the barricade. Miz tried doing some springboard move off the top, but then he slipped and Miz came back with a DDT. I don’t know what Miz was trying there. Shane with a distraction, so McIntyre hit the Glasgow Kiss headbutt. McIntyre hit Miz with a Claymore Kick after about three minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Drew McIntyre
Analysis: * Drew looked dominant in that win thanks to Shane’s distraction and the Claymore Kick. I’m not sure what Miz was going for when he slipped on the ropes. Maybe just a double axehandle, but it was not a big deal.
Shane McMahon said that even though Miz lost, they should have their match right now. Shane made the referee call for the bell while The Miz was down.
Shane McMahon vs. The Miz
Shane worked over Miz with punches, Miz came back with punches, but Shane avoided a Skull Crushing Finale by holding the ropes. Shane kicked Miz. Shane with a Triangle Choke on Miz and Miz tapped out to give Shane the submission win. It went one minute.
Winner by submission: Shane McMahon
Analysis: 1/2* Very cheap win for Shane, who is now 3-0 in matches against The Miz.
Post match, Drew put Shane on his shoulders for their over the top celebration.
Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville went up to Ember Moon mocking her for playing a video game. Mandy gave Ember her magazine. Ember mentioned Carmella to them, Sonya said she’s facing her tonight and the heels left while Ember was mad about it.
Analysis: Ember should be mad about not being on the show very often. I think she’s very talented. They need to use her better.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan, the Smackdown Tag Team Champions, entered for a match up next.
It was mentioned by the announcers that John Cena will be in the “Fast and the Furious 9” movie just like they said on Raw.
Daniel Bryan and Rowan were in the ring with the Yolo County Tag Team Champions, who had title belts that were made of paper. Bryan said it will be a unification match. The guys in the ring were AJ Kirsh and Dave Dutra.
The Heavy Machinery duo of Tucker and Otis showed up to say that Bryan and Rowan are scared to put their titles on the line. Otis said that they like to have a good time while Tucker said if they got a title shot they would be the new champions. Bryan said that they haven’t done anything to earn an opportunity at the titles. Bryan told them to face the Yolo County Champions.
Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis) vs. AJ Kirsh and Dave Dutra
Tucker with a clothesline on each guy and a clothesline to send Kirsh out of the ring. Otis tagged in with a running splash on Dutra. Otis hit the caterpillar followed by an elbow drop. Tucker back in leading to the Compactor double team slam and Tucker hitting a splash for the win after one minute.
Winners by pinfall: Heavy Machinery (Tucker and Otis)
Analysis: 1/2* Another short match on this show full of short matches so far. An easy win to try to build up Heavy Machinery a bit. A more meaningful victory would have been better.
Post match, Rowan wanted to fight with Heavy Machinery, but Bryan kept Rowan back.
R-Truth was walking backstage with the 24/7 Title with Carmella by his side. Truth talked about all of the things he has had to deal with as champion and he called it the “7/11 Championship” while adding that he loved it. Some guy was walking down the hallway, so Truth hid in some container. It was just a random guy walking by. Carmella was told she had a match, so she left and said she would be back after her match. Jinder Mahal walked up, did a bad Carmella impression while talking to Truth inside the container and said he/she would be back with a crowbar to open it up. Truth claimed he couldn’t breathe.
Analysis: This is already funnier than what they tried on Raw at least. That’s not to say that it is hilarious, but I enjoy some R-Truth comedy bits.
Sonya Deville entered with Mandy Rose by her side.
Carmella’s entrance was not shown. The match started as soon as they returned from break.
Sonya Deville (w/Mandy Rose) vs. Carmella
Carmella started aggressively with a tackle that looked sloppy. Deville took over by choking Carmella against the ropes followed by a body scissors on the ribs of Carmella, who fought back with punches. Deville with a running knee to the face. Deville with a kick to the face. Carmella put on the Code of Silence submission on the head of Deville and Rose put Deville’s foot on the bottom rope. The ref saw the foot on the rope to cause the break. Deville got a rollup for two after Carmella chased Rose. Carmella sent Deville out of the ring and Carmella hit a dive onto Rose and Deville on the floor. Mandy grabbed Carmella’s foot again, so Carmella hit a superkick on Rose. Back in the ring, Deville hit the running knee to the face for the pinfall win after about four minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Sonya Deville
Analysis: *1/4 There were some decent moments, but also some sloppy parts in the match as well. It was the typical finish where the numbers game played a factor to give the heel Deville the win. Carmella hasn’t done that much as a face. She was better as a heel.
Alexa Bliss was shown drinking coffee in the locker room because that’s her gimmick. Nikki Cross walked up to her, so Bliss talked trash about Bayley to her. Bliss revealed that she has blocked Bayley on Twitter. Bliss told Cross she set her up in a match against Bayley and told her when she sees Bayley, think of all the people on social media that hurt her. Bliss told Cross “don’t hold back.” Cross had a serious look on her face.
Analysis: Bliss continues to use Cross and manipulate her, which is consistent with what Bliss has been in the past. One day, Cross will figure it out and they’ll have a feud. At least there’s a long term plan there.
The New Day trio made their entrance with the pancakes that they tossed into the crowd. That’s the end of the first hour.
Analysis: Weak first hour of Smackdown. There was nothing interesting.
Let’s Hear from The New Day
The New Day trio were in the ring. Xavier Woods said that today is a big day and WWE Champion Kofi Kingston said it’s the “actual return” of Big E. The fans cheered that while Big E was excited about it. Big E: “Your boy is back…again. If I was given a title for every return, I would be Charlotte Flair!” That was funny. Kingston said that was a “booking joke,” which was also funny.
Xavier Woods talked about their match saying he wanted to get it done so that he can go back to E3. They face “Sam” Zayn, Kevin Owens and Dolph Ziggler. Xavier asked what happened when Kofi faced all three guys in singles matches, Kofi said: “I beat them.” Kingston said he’ll do it one more time with Ziggler, this time inside a Steel Cage. Kingston said that Ziggler will not be able to run from him and Kofi will remain your WWE World…here comes Dolph Ziggler.
Dolph Ziggler said that he put Kofi on a pedestal. He said that Kofi betrayed him and worst of all, he betrayed himself. Ziggler said that there is only one reason he is still WWE Champion, which led to a video package that showed when Woods kicked Ziggler in the head and Kingston hit Trouble in Paradise. Earlier in the match, Ziggler kicked Woods, so Woods was getting revenge.
Ziggler said that the footage doesn’t lie and that means that it should have been Ziggler. Dolph said that at Stomping Grounds, there will be nowhere for Kofi to run and nobody to save him from Ziggler, who reminded Kingston it’s a Steel Cage match. Ziggler said that the world will know what he’s known all along that without his friends, without the handouts – Kofi could never beat him.
Kingston said that what Ziggler forgot to show is that Ziggler kicked Woods in the face. Kingston asked did Ziggler think that Woods wasn’t going to retaliate? Kevin Owens’ music started for the interruption.
Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn appeared on the stage with Ziggler. Zayn said that they can’t stand injustice. He said that if he helped Kevin Owens win the WWE Title at Money in the Bank, the fans would want justice for Kingston, but for some reason when Woods kicked Ziggler, somehow fans are all okay with it. Sami said that “these disgusting people” don’t care about justice. Zayn said that what matters is who you like and who you don’t like. Zayn said that they are there to right the wrongs. Zayn added that they love beating up New Day.
Big E said that they enjoyed when Rollins beat him up with a steel chair on Raw. Zayn told Big E not to talk about him with Zayn saying that if anybody else got beat up with that chair, they might be fired, but these idiots are hypocrites.
Ziggler said that the biggest hypocrite of all is the guy with the WWE Title – Kingston. Big E said that this WWE Championship is not about any one of them. Big E said that this about a man that is willing to walk through fire to show that he is the best at what he does. Kingston said that he’s going to beat Ziggler at Stomping Grounds and remain your “WWE World Heavyweight Champion.” Big E said that before they get to Stomping Grounds, they get a free preview because…New Day rocks.
Analysis: The match was already announced earlier in the night, so I don’t think they really needed the promo exchange. There was nothing bad here and I liked the part where Big E was fired up, but I would have rather seen something else in that spot. There are so many wrestlers sitting in the back doing nothing. It would be nice to see them utilized better instead of giving us another promo for a match that was already set up.
Bayley was shown with her Smackdown Women’s Championship and Kayla Braxton asked her about Alexa Bliss. Bayley said she had no problem with Nikki Cross and she talked trash about Bliss at Stomping Grounds. Bayley’s music hit as she made her entrance.
Aleister Black was in a darkened room for another promo. Black said that another week goes by, yet there is nobody is at his door looking for a fight with him. Black asked somebody to open the door, so there was a light and Black yelled out the door asking for somebody to pick a fight with him.
Analysis: I would like to see him against Randy Orton. I know they wrestled at a live event this past weekend, so perhaps that will be a rivalry if they are doing it at live events.
Nikki Cross entered to the music of Alexa Bliss because Bliss was with her.
Bayley vs. Nikki Cross (w/Alexa Bliss)
This is not for Bayley’s Smackdown Women’s Title.
Bayley with a dropkick. Bayley went for a kick by the turnbuckle. Bayley went for the kick by the turnbuckle again, but Cross pulled out the apron followed by some punches to the back of Bayley. Cross hit a reverse DDT for a two count. Alexa Bliss looks fantastic at ringside. Just saying.
The match returned with Bayley hitting a neckbreaker against the middle ropes. Bayley with a running kick followed by a clothesline and a splash for a two count. Bayley with a belly to black suplex to Cross. Bliss with a distraction, so Cross got a cradle for two. Bayley came back with a knee to the face of Cross. Bayley went up top and hit an elbow off the top rope that didn’t come close to connecting, but it was enough for Bayley to get the pinfall win after about seven minutes.
Winner by pinfall: Bayley
Analysis: *1/2 It was just an average match where Cross wasn’t given enough offense and Bayley got the easy win. At least it’s a good thing to see a champion like Bayley win a non-title match.
Post match, Bayley had a staredown with Bliss since they are facing off at Stomping Grounds.
It was back to Jinder Mahal backstage with a crowbar and he had a referee with him. The equipment box with Truth was in another area, Mahal asked for info about another one and the guy told him that it was going to Los Angeles for Raw on Monday. Mahal told the referee they are going to LA. Meanwhile, Truth in the box was yelling for help. Carmella went up moments later looking for Truth.
Analysis: Ask the camera guy. He might be able to tell you. I’m bad at this “pretend the camera isn’t there” game. I know.
The Bray Wyatt “Firefly Fun House” segment aired. I already covered it on Raw. Basically, Ramblin’ Rabbit got killed by Bray’s mallet. What a sad loss.
Apollo Crews was interviewed by Kayla Braxton and a video was shown of Andrade attacking Crews last week before they could have a match. Crews talked about wanting an opportunity against Andrade. Zelina Vega showed up saying that Crews should not provoke him or Andrade will make sure that he never has a match again. Chad Gable showed up with a notepad taking notes of something.
Analysis: I don’t know where things are going with Gable with that gimmick, but at least they remembered he is on Smackdown. I like Crews too, so please utilize him. Best wishes to Andrade, whose mother died over the weekend. Andrade and girlfriend Charlotte Flair were given the week off to attend funeral services for his mother.
Kevin Owens entered for the main event.
The main event started when they returned from the break.
The New Day’s Kofi Kingston, Big E and Xavier Woods vs. Dolph Ziggler, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn
Ziggler worked with Woods to start the match, then Zayn tagged in and Woods hit a dropkick on Zayn. New Day did the unicorn stampede on Zayn against the turnbuckle. Kingston with a dropkick on Zayn for a two count. Kingston missed a corner attack on Zayn when Sami moved and Kofi bumped over the top to the floor. Ziggler got in a cheap shot punch on Kingston while outside the ring. Ziggler slapped on a chinlock on Kingston. Ziggler with a dropkick that sent Kingston out of the ring and to the floor. Owens with a senton splash on Kingston on the floor leading to a break.
The match returned with Woods still as the face in peril with Owens hitting a clothesline. Kingston came back with a missile dropkick on Owens. Woods tagged in with forearms to Zayn, a kick to the chest and woods hit a spinning forearm to the face. Woods with a double dropkick to knock down Zayn and Ziggler on the floor. Woods went up top where Ziggler tripped him up to crotch him on the top turnbuckle. Owens tagged in with punches followed by a dropkick to the back. Ziggler gouged the eyes of Woods followed by a chinlock on the mat. Woods got a rollup for two, but Ziggler prevented Woods from tagging in. Ziggler worked over Woods with forearms to the face followed by a chinlock. Woods with chops to the chest, but Zayn worked over Woods with punches. Owens with a body slam followed by moonsault onto the back of Woods because Woods was trying to roll out of the way, but Owens still hit him with it. Woods came back with a DDT. Big E got the hot tag against Ziggler with Big E hitting the two overhead belly to belly suplexes followed by the side belly to belly and the running splash. There’s that Big E hot tag sequence. Ziggler to the apron, Big E charged, but Ziggler hit a knee to the face to block. Big E caught Ziggler in his arms, Kingston tagged in, Zayn made a blind tag and Ziggler accidentally superkicked Zayn because Kingston moved. Ziggler with a superkick on Woods. Kingston hit a Trouble in Paradise kick on Ziggler and Kingston hit a Trouble in Paradise kick on Zayn for the pinfall win after 15 minutes.
Winners by pinfall: The New Day
Analysis: ***1/4 It was a pretty good tag team match that featured the typical formula with Woods as the face in peril, Big E got the hot tag and Kingston finished off Zayn to put over Kingston again. I like the way Kingston has been booked as a successful champion who wins his title defenses, but also looks strong in tag team matches and even non-title matches as well. The creative team has been frustrating about a lot of things this year. When it comes to Kofi, I like the way he has been presented as a deserving and fighting champion. Zayn taking the pin is another example of him being booked like a loser after he got beat up by Seth Rollins on Raw. I wish Zayn was treated like more of a star, but at least he is in the main event picture on both shows.
Kofi and New Day celebrated the win as the show ended because the match finished with less than a minute to go.
Three Stars of the Show
- Kofi Kingston
- Sami Zayn
- Big E
5 out of 10
Last week: 5.5
2019 Average: 6.79 (Raw is 5.46)
Last 5 Weeks: 5.5, 6, 7, 6.5, 7.5
2019 High: 8.5 (February 26)
2019 Low: 5 (January 15, June 11)
I give this week’s Smackdown a 5 out of 10.
It was a decent edition of Smackdown although I was bored by a lot of it. It’s not necessarily a bad wrestling show because nothing pissed me off. It was just full of uninteresting segments with some matches that didn’t feel like a big deal. I also think of the good talent sitting in the back doing nothing, yet WWE wants to kill time by replaying the same stuff we saw on Raw.
The first hour was lame, the second hour wasn’t much better, but at least the main event was around 15 minutes, so they got plenty of time. I miss the days when Smackdown would have three matches going 10+ minutes nearly every week. Instead, we only had one match over ten minutes this week. Too much talking and not enough action means for a less interesting show...in my opinion. I want Smackdown to be different than Raw, not be a carbon copy of it. Since the “Wild Card Rule” started, Smackdown has gotten worse. No question about it.
The next WWE pay-per-view is Stomping Grounds on June 23 in Tacoma, WA. Here’s what we know so far.
Universal Championship: Seth Rollins (c) vs. Baron Corbin
WWE Championship Steel Cage Match: Kofi Kingston (c) vs. Dolph Ziggler
Roman Reigns vs. Drew McIntyre
Raw Women’s Championship: Becky Lynch (c) vs. Lacey Evans
Smackdown Women’s Championship: Bayley (c) vs. Alexa Bliss