KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
APRIL 9, 2019
BROOKLYN, N.Y. AT BARCLAYS CENTER
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-The New Day came out at the start of the show. Saxton said some things just feel right, and this feels right. Phillips said Kofi returns to his home brand to celebrate tonight. The announcers commented on freeze-frames of Kofi’s win over Daniel Bryan. They had a rainbow made of balloons over the ring, platters of pancakes on every turnbuckle, and more colorful adornments. Fans chanted “You deserve it!”
Big E said he wasn’t sure if fans heard, but a man made millions of WWE fans cry tears of joy. He said he is an A+ player with extra credit. Fans chanted “A-plus.” Big E said Kofi “broke his foot off between the vegan cheeks of Daniel Bryan.” Xavier took over,”…and became your new WWE World Heavyweight Champion.” They gyrated as they said it. Xavier wanted the fans to give Big E a round of applause for doing the splits. Fans chanted “One more time!” Big E did it again. Fans cheered. Big E seemed genuinely tickled that fans liked his splits so much. He congratulated Becky Lynch for her win and said Kofi came close to becoming dual champion like her.
Big E said there is nothing like being home right here on the blue brand. He said fans have gotten to know them through a lot of shenanigans and “butt stuff, yeah, lots of butt stuff.” He said tonight isn’t about that nonsense, though. He said tonight is about a most important celebration. Xavier got serious and talked about meeting Kofi for the first time and said it was like meeting one of his heroes. Big E said the bond they share is something special. He said they “came together to reshape culture and change history.” He said that’s exactly what Kofi did on Sunday. Xavier said on behalf of himself and Big E and what sounds like every person in this arena and every single person in the WWE Universe, “Kofi, we love you and congratulations.” Fans chanted “Kofi! Kofi!”
Kofi said he’s at a loss for words. He said wearing that belt is an impossible moment. “This wasn’t in the script, this wasn’t supposed to happen, this wasn’t in the cards, but here we are!” he said. He gave a shout-out to his family. They showed his kids and wife at ringside and he complimented each of them. He said they inspire him to be the best possible father, husband, and role model he can be. He said he loves them so much. Suddenly The Bar’s music played. Graves said they were out to spoil the celebration.
Sheamus and Cesaro walked out. Sheamus said Kofi should thank them for saving his skin last night because Seth Rollins “was mopping the floor with you.” Fans chanted “Shut the f— up!” Sheamus said he almost lost his title in the first 24 hours, “and it’s not because you’re just a B+ player, it’s because you didn’t have those two beside ya’.” He challenged them to a six-man tag team match. Big E said that’s fine, but their math doesn’t add up because there’s only two of them. Cesaro said they made a friend at Raw. “Who?” chants rang out. They revealed it was Drew McIntyre who walked out and stood between Sheamus and Cesaro.
(Keller’s Analysis: I really like the idea of McIntyre as the first challenger for Kofi Kingston. He’s massive and a bully who gives Kofi a chance to play scrappy underdog against. That was a nice celebration for New Day. It felt genuine, which was nice. It deserved the time it was given.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside. Saxton said he was in shock that Drew is here tonight. Phillips plugged the Usos defending against The Hardy Boyz tonight.
-Aleister Black’s ring entrance took place. Phillips said a six-man tag match was up next with Black & Ricochet & Mustafa Ali vs. Andrade & Rusev & Shinsuke Nakamura.
-A commercial aired for the Superstar Shake-up next week on both Raw and Smackdown. [c]
-Highlights were shown from WrestleMania.
(1) SHINSUKE NAKAMURA & RUSEV (w/Lana) & ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega) vs. MUSTAFA ALI & RICOCHET & ALEISTER BLACK
The end of Nakamura’s ring entrance aired. Fans song along after the song stopped. Fans chanted “NXT!” when Ricochet and Nakamura began the match. The announcers talked about the Superstar Shake-up next. Graves said Rusev and Lana could end up on separate brands. “What could that do to their marriage?” he asked. Graves joked that Saxton might end up being sent to Shotgun Saturday Night. After some chaos, the heels were knocked to ringside and Black springboard somersaulted back into the ring and sat cross-legged. Ricochet and Ali joined him as they cut to a break. [c]
They stayed with the action on split screen during the break. Rusev took control and got in sustained offense against Ali until they returned from the break. Eventually Black rallied against Andrade, but Rusev and Nakamura interfered. Ricochet leaped off the top rope and dropkicked both of them. Ricochet then flipped off the ringside barricade and hit Rusev. Nakamura kneed Ricochet from behind. Black knocked Nakamura off the ring apron with Black Mass. Andrade rolled up Black and got a near fall. Ali tagged himself in and gave Andrade a reverse rana. He followed up quickly with 450 splash for the win.
WINNERS: Ali & Ricochet & Black when Ali pinned Andrade in 13:00.
-After the match, Randy Orton snuck in and gave Ali an RKO Out of Nowhere. He then walked to the back celebrating. As Ricochet helped Ali out of the ring, Rusev was trash-talking him. Kevin Owens then showed up and gave Rusev a Stunner Out Of Nowhere. He then marched to the back. Graves said the Superstar Shake-up is looming.
-Graves hyped that Shane McMahon would be on the show later. Saxton plugged the six-man tag team main event. Kayla Braxton (unidentified verbally or on screen) interviewed The Usos backstage. Jey congratulated Kofi. Jimmy said a lot changed on Sunday. but something stayed the same – they remained Smackdown Tag Team Champions. He said they have to win tonight to prove they are the better brothers. Jey said it’s about more – it’s about proving who the best tag team is in WWE history. [c]
-A segment aired on WWE’s involvement in the Boys & Girls Club of America.
-R-Truth and Carmella entered the ring. The women’s battle royal trophy was stationed at ringside. Truth asked the fans what’s up. He said what’s up is that The Man is the Raw and Smackdown women’s champion. Carmella said excitedly that Kofi is WWE Champion. Truth said at WrestleMania they had the world’s longest seven second dance break, and Carmella defeated Andre the Giant in the Royal Rumble match. “Not exactly,” said Graves. Carmella corrected Truth. She said since last year, she has lost her women’s title but gained a friend. She said Truth has taught her to smile and let loose and have fun again. She said she sees big things in her future. Suddenly Samoa Joe’s music interrupted. He marched out with a nasty disposition and the U.S. Title over his shoulder. He charged into the ring. Truth met him with punches. Joe headbutted him. Truth gave him a wheel kick to the chest. Joe avoided a scissors kick and applied the Coquina Clutch. Truth flailed. Joe tossed him out of the ring and asked for the mic. “Joe! Joe! Joe!” chanted the fans.
Joe said he destroyed Rey Mysterio in under 60 seconds at WrestleMania. He said he might take less time to beat up any other Superstar. His music played again. Braun Strowman’s music then played. “Oh my God! No!” said Phillips. Strowman charged into the ring and attacked Joe. He splashed Joe in the corner with a hard clothesline and then applied a Coquina Clutch. Strowman battled free and then Joe avoided a slam and rolled to ringside.
(Keller’s Analysis: Are we seeing early indications of how things will shake out next week? Strowman and Drew perhaps to Smackdown? Joe could end up on Raw, too, though?)
-As Strowman made his way onto the stage, The IIconics began their ring entrance. They offered a handshake, but Strowman stared at them curiously and then turned it down and walked to the back. The IIconics smiled their way to the ring with the Women’s Tag Team Titles. [c]
-The IIconics said when people win titles, they talk a lot about becoming fighting champions. They said they won’t just talk, they’ll defend them anytime, anywhere, against any tag team. They said tonight they have arranged for their first title defense against the best tag team they could find in Brooklyn. They said their opponents have an undefeated record of 45-0, Kristen & Karissa, The Brooklyn Belles. They were in the ring already.
(2) THE IICONICS vs. THE BROOKLYN BELLES (Kristen & Karissa) – Women’s Tag Team Championship match
They showed Paige watching the match on the monitor backstage. Saxton wondered what she was doing back there. The IIconics totally dominated and won decisively. Graves said they just defeated “one of the best tag teams in the world.” The IIconics celebrated like they had done something amazing.
WINNERS: The IIconics in 3:00.
(Note: Kris Statlander & Karissa Rivera. Statlander is one of the rising stars on the indy scene right now.)
-They went back to Paige watching the monitor. Kayla asked her what brings her to Smackdown this week. Paige said it was just one week until the Superstar Shake-up, so she wanted to get a close-up look at the WWE Women’s Tag Team Champions. She said they were very impressive and ended the underrated streak of The Brooklyn Belles. She said next week she’s bringing in an impressive tag team of her own.
-Shane McMahon began his ring entrance. He was limping. No dancing. He had a black eye. Saxton said he’s surprised he’s even walking. [c]
-A graphic touted that WrestleMania was the most social program on all of TV with #RawAfterMania dominating the no. 1 Worldwide Trend beating the NCAA Basketball Championship on CBS, American Idol on ABC, MLB on ESPN, and The Voice on NBC.
-Shane stood mid-ring with the Best in the World Trophy. They showed freeze-frames of the Shane vs. Miz match including the superplex off the platform to 15 feet below with Shane’s arm draped over Miz to get the three count. Saxton called it luck. Graves said, “What an athlete!” Shane said it’s been an amazing night so far on Smackdown Live. He said next week it’ll continue with the Superstar Shake-up. He said they should take a moment to reflect on WrestleMania. Shane listed big things from the event, but said the reason 80,000 people were there was to see him beat Miz. He said Miz is in his rear view mirror. He told fans Miz is tending to his father. Fans chanted “Mr. Miz.” He said Mr. Miz had the “o-dacity” (is that the same thing as audacity?) to enter the ring. He said Mr. Miz put his fists up and punched him in the eye. Fans chanted, “You deserved it!” Shane said he had to defend himself. He said the Baked Potato Face and his son got what was coming to them. He said they found out he is what he says he is.
Shane said since they’re talking about Best in the World… at which point the crowd began chanting “C.M. Punk! C.M. Punk!” Shane, in a disgusted tone, said, “Puh-lease.” He then called Greg Hamilton into the ring to try to do a better job introducing him tonight. He asked him what was going on. Hamilton said some fans threatened him tonight and said if he called him Best in the World, something bad would happen to him. He said he feels threatened. Shane said Brooklyn is “the best city in the world” because he lives there. He said he doesn’t have to worry about the fans doing anything to him and he should worry about him. He moved into Hamilton’s personal space and grabbed his suit coat and told him to announce him the right way. Hamilton then introduced Shane with vigor and enthusiasm. Shane said it wasn’t good enough. Hamilton tried again, but Shane didn’t like. He grabbed his tie and dragged him to mid-ring and said they are doing a live TV show so he needed him to get it right. Hamilton tried again. Shane said he is choking and he dragged him out of the ring. Hamilton kept trying as Shane walked him to the back like a dog on a leash. He said he has one more chance and he should dig down deep like he means it or else there’s be serious ramifications. Hamilton really let loose and sang it. Shane soaked it up with his eyes closed. He then fixed Hamilton’s tie. Fans chanted “C.M. Punk!” again. Hamilton returned to ringside.
(Keller’s Analysis: Shane is a hoot as a heel. I hope it leads somewhere, though.)
-Phillips threw to a replay of Undertaker showing up on Raw to crush Elias.
-The Hardys made their way to the ring. [c]
-More WrestleMania highlights were shown.
(3) THE USOS vs. THE HARDY BOYZ – WWE Smackdown Tag Team Title match
The Hardys got in some early offense, then the Usos took over and took it to Matt at ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
They stayed with the action on split-screen. After the break, the Hardys took over and rallied. Matt took his shirt off (to a much smaller reaction than when Jeff does it!). Jey tagged in and splashed Jeff for a quick two count. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” The Usos set up the double splashes, but they Jeff moved. Matt entered and signaled for a Twist of Fate, but Jey avoided it. Matt tagged in Jeff, hit the Twist of Fate, and Jeff landed the Swanton for the win.
WINNERS: The Hardy Boyz in 11:00 to capture the Smackdown Tag Team Titles.
-Kayla interviewed the Hardys in the ring after their win. Before she could ask her first question, Lars Sullivan walked out to his music. The Hardys looked on, still breathing hard from their match. He slid into the ring and beat up both Hardys. Fans booed. Lars landed a top rope diving headbutt to Matt. Some fans taunted him with a “You can’t wrestle!” chant. His music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: Lars was impressive in terms of his body language and looking dominant. I’m not a fan of reintroducing the diving headbutt off the top rope, though, just because of it’s history correlating to wrestlers having issues with their neck and concussions.) [c]
-Becky Lynch came out to the ring to cheers. A highlight package aired of Becky’s win over Ronda Rousey and Charlotte Flair at WrestleMania. No mention, again, of the controversial aspect of the three count. She talked about her win and being Becky Two Belts. Fans chanted “Becky Two Belts!” She said she thinks that sounds like cause for celebration, so on Monday she tried to do that. They replayed Lacey Evans punching Becky. Becky said that punch reminded her that she is wearing two big targets. She said she’ll be pulling double-duty as long as she holds both titles and she knows there is a tsunami of challengers headed her way. “Bring on every last one of them,” she said. She said she’ll take as many beatings as it takes and sleep with one eye open if she has to. She said she has walked through hell to gets those titles, so you’ll meet a red-headed devil if you think you’re going to take them away from her. She threw the mic down. Graves said at least she is aware of the target on her back now. As she held up her belts on the ramp, Lacey Evans attacked her again, nailing her with the Woman’s Right. Becky didn’t get up quickly. Lacey patted her face with a white cloth and looked on proudly. Then her music played and she sauntered to the back. Becky looked up angrily as she regained her senses. [c]
-With the wrestlers in the ring for the main event, Sami Zayn’s music played. He stepped onto the stage and fans sang his song. He indicated he was going to speak, but then simply said, “You’re not worth it.” He dropped the mic and left.
(4) DREW MCINTYRE & THE BAR (Sheamus & Cesaro) vs. THE NEW DAY
The announcers speculated that Cesaro and Sheamus could end up on separate brands next week. A couple minutes in, the heels took it to Xavier including sending him face-first into the announce desk. [c]
Big E tagged in after the break and rallied. Saxton wondered if this could be the last time we see New Day as a team. Cesaro caught a charging Big E with a knee. He then leaped off the top rope with a body press. It looked like Big E was supposed to catch him and turn it into a powerslam, but he fell backwards anyway from the impact. He maneuvered on top of Cesaro and went for the near fall spot anyway. Sheamus tagged in and The Bar double-teamed him with the Double White Noise for a near fall, broken up by Woods. Sheamus then gave Big E an Irish Curse backbreaker. Big E countered a Brogue Kick attempt with a clothesline. Then Big E tagged in Kofi. Kofi landed a top rope senton splash. He played to the crowd and got them clapping. He kicked Cesaro off the ring apron and then dove over the top rope onto Cesaro at ringside. Sheamus grabbed him, but Kofi upkicked him. Sheamus blocked a Trouble in Paradise, but Kofi fought through it and connected with it for the win.
WINNERS: The New Day when Kofi pinned Sheamus in 9:00.
-The show closed with Kofi celebrating with his family in the ring. They went to a wide shot of fans cheering as New Day’s music played. The announcers talked about the unknown coming next week in the Superstar Shake-up.
(Keller’s Analysis: Drew just walked out of the match mid-way and it didn’t feel like an angle. The announcers didn’t draw attention to it. Maybe he was injured? But nothing happened in the match indicating that.)