KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
MAY 21, 2019
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-Backstage Shane McMahon was on the phone. Elias walked in. (Good thing or what an awkward non-newsworthy beginning to Smackdown that would have been.) Shane ended the call. Elias was all nervous and stammering and he said he had Roman Reigns where he wanted him, and he put all of his energy into his performance, but the crowd was so unappreciative of him. He said the crowd called him names that affected him. Elias said he’s an artist in touch with his emotions, and he wasn’t where he needed to be when Reigns tossed him around like that. He told Shane that he and his family deserved better. Elias said he’ll be there for him at Super Showdown when he faces Reigns. Shane said he doesn’t need anyone in his corner, he’ll take care of Reigns himself. Shane told Elias he will be in his corner tonight, though, because Elias does need his help. Elias smiled (at the insult) and thanked Shane and walked away.
(Keller’s Analysis: That was quite the emasculation of Elias in terms of how he was written and directed to act there.)
-The New Day music played. Kofi Kingston and Xavier Woods danced onto the stage. Kofi said tonight is a very special night. Xavier said tonight is Big E’s return after six weeks away. Xavier led someone out covered in a big black cloth. We got snorting sounds from the announce team selling the pending uproarious laughter. They revealed someone other than Big E. Xavier said he looks like Big E got left in the dryer. The guy threw a few pancakes and left, as Kofi and Xavier berated him.
(Keller’s Analysis: The director couldn’t find anyone laughing, apparently, as they stuck with Xavier and Kofi awkwardly standing on the stage after that whole thing died in front of millions. Mick Foley might have had it worse, but I’m not sure.)
Then Kofi introduced “the real Big E.” Big E did his signature intro, invoking Providence. He danced out. They all entered the ring, doing their usual over-the-top smiling and gyrating and laughing. Big E smelled Xavier’s hair, then asked if he could smell’s Kofi’s underarm. Xavier said Big E is medically cleared to sniff, but not wrestle. Big E smelled Kofi’s armpit, then smiled and said he’s missed his boys. Xavier said Big E has been “crushing it on Twitter.” Xavier and Big E talked about how fine Becky’s mother is.
Kofi said everyone wants him to be serious now. He brought up Brock Lesnar becoming Mr. Money in the Bank. Some boos. Xavier then said that more importantly Kofi “KO’d KO” to retain his title. Big E showed off his pecs. Kevin Owens’ music interrupted them.
KO walked onto the stage. Then Sami Zayn came out to his music. He complained that he was gone for six months but didn’t get a welcome back segment like Big E. New Day sang that he gets nothing. Xavier yelled, “Because you suck!” KO turned and left. Sami said KO lost only because he was distracted that his best friend was beat up and hung upside down. He said tonight’s whole celebration is disgusting. He said they’re placating the people with their hip swivels and pancakes and cereal. He said fans should be taking accountability for creating a toxic culture. Xavier interrupted him with his trombone. Sami was irritated. Graves said it was so rude. Sami said their night won’t end in fun because he’s going to beat Kofi in front of his little friends and the trashy people in the crowd. He said when he’s done, they’ll be lucky to be walking at all. Kofi told Sami not to let the smiles and hip swivels and the pancakes fool him. “When it’s time to throw down, we thrown down!” he said. He said he’s not only going to walk out on his own two feet, but he’ll walk straight through him. Big E triggered a “New… Day Sucks!” chant. They danced.
-Backstage Drake Maverick asked Carmella if she’s seen R-Truth. He handed her a wanted poster with Truth on it. She asked Apollo Crews. He didn’t know, either. She then came upon a guy in a blond wig. She yelled, “Truth!” He said, “You can tell?” He was carrying around his 24/7 Title. Carmella said everyone is looking for him. He was confused over what 24/7 meant. She asked him why he came to Smackdown. He said he needs her help. Carmella yanked down a Truth “wanted” posted.
-Ali made his ring entrance. The announcers recapped the Money in the Bank cash-in from Brock Lesnar, costing Ali his chance to grab the briefcase. They didn’t express any outrage about the circumstances, but rather dispassionately just described what happened. Phillips simply said Ali has “a chance to rebound” next against Andrade. [c]
(1) ALI vs. ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega)
Graves said Andrade “came up short” at Money in the Bank, but if he’s to have any chance at beating The Demon at Super Showdown, he’ll need to establish momentum here. (Did Andrade really “come up short,” or did Lesnar get granted a special circumstance to avoid 20 minutes of a beating and the element of surprise to steal a win out from under the other seven? Andrade had his chance stolen, he didn’t “come up short.”) Graves talked about spectacular moments in the MITB ladder produced by these two. Saxton began complaining about Lesnar, saying he “wasn’t even in the match” when he won. Zelina distracted Ali long enough to give Andrade a chance to recover and dropkick Ali out of mid-air when he leaped off the ropes. [c]
They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split screen. Andrade controlled during the break. As soon as the break ended, Ali landed a satellite DDT to take over. Andrade took over again. Ali was nearly counted out, but rolled in at the count of nine. Andrade beat up Ali at ringside including ramming his back into the ringpost and Ali again beat the count just before 10. It got a nice crowd reaction as Phillips praised Ali for being “all heart!” Ali surprised Andrade, who was showboating, with a small package for a three count. Saxton called the win a “darned near miracle.”
WINNER: Ali in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good match.)
-The announcers hyped Becky & Bayley vs. Charlotte & Lacey later.
-Backstage Carmella was helping R-Truth to look fabulous in his blond wig. “RuPaul would be so proud,” she said. He was wearing a cut off t-shirt covering just his pecs. He said he felt something was missing. She handed him a bra. He said he needed help because he’s always had trouble getting them open. She opened the bra strap.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sigh.)
-Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville walked onto the stage to Rose’s music. [c]
-Phillips congratulated Roman Reigns for being nominated for the Best Real Life Hero in the 2019 MTV Movie & TV Awards. They went to the announcers on camera. Phillips said Reigns has been a symbol of hope and strength for millions around the world.
-A video package aired on Lars Sullivan.
(2) MANDY ROSE (w/Sonya Deville) vs. CARMELLA (w/R-Truth)
R-Truth came out and danced with Carmella wearing a blond wig and blue jeans and a cutoff t-shirt. He was still wearing his 24/7 belt. Graves called it the worst disguise ever. Phillips said he’s on national television, so everyone knows where he is. (I think Phillips missed the obvious point Graves was making. If you had a good disguise, you could still be on TV and people wouldn’t know it was you.) Rose rolled to ringside after an early flurry by Carmella. Deville distracted Carmella on the ring apron, so she yanked her into the ring and mounted her. Deville rolled out of the ring. Rose rolled up Carmella from behind for a two count. Carmella sidekicked Rose in the face. Bo Dallas, Curtis Axel, Crews, and parade of other mid-carders chased after Truth who ran away with Carmella on his back. I think that Matt Hardy was at the end of the line trying to keep up.
WINNER: Match outcomes don’t matter.
-Saxton said the disguise didn’t work. Saxton said Truth should drop Carmella and run. Graves said: “Of course you would leave a woman at ringside and run. You suck, you sissy.” Phillips fake laughed and again said Truth was on national TV and didn’t think anyone would know he was there. (Again Phillips is missing the whole joke that the disguise was so bad, Truth didn’t know that he wouldn’t be recognized. Phillips seems totally hung up on Truth being on TV as the joke here, stepping on the “terrible disguise” aspect of it.)
-Kayla Braxton interviewed Bayley. She said it was a brutal night on Sunday, but she’d do it all over again. She said she created her own opportunity on Sunday to make it impossible for anyone to doubt her again. Kayla asked what the difference is between Bayley the Champion and Bayley the Hugger. Bayley said she’s past the hugs and wants everyone to bring their best.
-They cut back to Truth and Carmella trying to escape out of a back door. There was screaming and they ran back out and down the hall. The parade of mid-carders (to be general) chased after her including Brian Kendrick and Noam Dar. Sami looked at them like Ron Simmons would, minus the “Damn!” at the end. [c]
-Elias was strumming his guitar in the parking lot, waiting for Roman Reigns to arrive.
(3) KOFI KINGSTON vs. SAMI ZAYN
Phillips said “the Wildcard Rule is in effect here” tonight because Sami was there. He called him “the critic of the critics.” They cut backstage to Big E who was on the ground clutching his knee. He said it was Owens. Xavier told Kofi to go handle Sami and he’ll take good care of Big E. Kofi made his way out to the ring. Kofi went after Sami aggressively at the bell. The ref pulled him off. Sami backdropped Kofi over the top rope and took over. Saxton talked about the tumultuous relationship Sami and KO have had. Graves said long-term relationships have rough patches, but you have to move past it. Sami threw Kofi into the steps and then obnoxiously jumped up and down to celebrate. Graves denied Sami was involved in the Big E attack. Phillips said Big E pointed the finger at KO. Kofi took control again and they cut to a break. [c]
Phillips said Big E was taken to a local medical facility in Providence. Kofi eventually finished off Sami with a Trouble in Paradise.
WINNER: Kofi in 8:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good TV match, but the commercial cut out of the middle took away from a full picture.)
-Paul Heyman walked out with the MITB briefcase and taunted Kofi with it. The announcers wondered if Brock Lesnar was there, too. Heyman said it feels like the perfect time now. Dolph Ziggler then attacked Kofi from behind. He beat him up for a couple minutes and wrapped Kofi’s leg around the turnbuckles. Then he put his head in a chair and threw him into the announce desk. Finally several referees ran out and pulled Ziggler off of him. Trainers checked on Kofi. Graves said there are many ways to make a statement without endangering someone’s career. They cut to some fans who looked on with grave concern, although they were usually surrounded by fans with wide smiles because they were about to be on TV or thought Ziggler’s return was cool. Kofi was rolled up the ramp, but got off the gurney near the top and walked off under his own power to cheers.
(Keller’s Analysis: I get that Big E and Xavier were at a local medical facility, but that meant there were no babyface left to maybe help Kofi otherwise?) [c]
-They replayed the beating as announcers commented on it. Graves said it was too far. He agreed with Saxton’s sentiments. Phillips said no one is being allowed into the trainer’s room.
-They showed Roman Reigns arriving at the arena. Cheers in the background. He was wearing a zip-up hooded sweatshirt with his logo on it. Elias was sitting on top of a semi-trailer playing his guitar and making fun of Reigns for sounding as dumb as the people of Providence. He said he’s a jealous man who’s been jealous from the start of his soul and his heart. He said it’s time to take the Big Dog for a walk. Reigns shook his head in disgust and continued walking.
-Lacey Evans made her ring entrance. Then Charlotte.
-Kayla interviewed Becky Lynch backstage. She asked what her state of mind is now that she lost one of her titles. She said she doesn’t feel good without her blue belt. She said if someone is going to walk around with it who didn’t beat her, she’s glad it’s Bayley. She wasn’t very enthusiastic. Bayley walked in and said she likes the sound of Bayley Two Belts. Becky said she’d shake her hand, but she can’t guarantee she wouldn’t drop her. Becky said when they’re done teaming, she’s coming after her title. Bayley smiled and said she wouldn’t have it any other way.
-Becky’s ring entrance took place. Bayley’s ring entrance began then they cut to a break but stayed with the rest of the ring entrance and the start of the match on split-screen. [c]
(4) BAYLEY & BECKY LYNCH vs. CHARLOTTE FLAIR & LACEY EVANS
The heel duo isolated Becky in the corner and beat her up for a while. Bayley crawled over and hot-tagged Becky. Graves said Becky’s pride cost her by defending both titles in one night. Becky took it to Charlotte. Becky dropkicked Charlotte’s hands, as Charlotte bumped backwards early and Becky came up mostly short. Becky wheel kicked Charlotte, then knocked Lacey off the ring apron. Becky went back to Charlotte with a flying forearm off the middle rope. She followed with a Becksploder Suplex. Charlotte came back with a figure-four attempt, but Becky blocked it. Becky rolled up Charlotte. Charlotte rolled through, but used the ropes for added leverage. Becky went for a Disarmher, but Lacey interfered with a Woman’s Right. Bayley entered and knocked Lacey out of the ring. Charlotte tried to figure-four Bayley quickly, but Bayley turned it into an inside cradle for a three count. Bayley made a quick exit as her music played and Charlotte took a swing at her from the ring.
WINNERS: Bayley & Becky in 9:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: This was fine. Basic solid tag match, but it seemed like this should have been presented as a bigger deal. That’s the top names in the women’s division right now and that felt a little too throwaway or flippant in presentation.)
-Backstage Jinder Mahal rolled up Truth for a two count. Carmella then led him away. Truth was concerned about keeping his wig on. B-Team attacked Truth from behind. Bo made the cover. Curtis yanked Bo off of Truth. They argued, but then worked together. Truth threw Curtis into Bo, then Truth escaped with Carmella.
-The announcers hyped the Reigns-Elias rematch from WrestleMania. Saxton said the key is Shane McMahon is in Elias’s corner. [c]
-Backstage, an interviewer approached Ziggler and said “the WWE Universe wants to know why” he brutally attacked Kofi. Ziggler said he won’t give her the answer, he’ll give it to all of them. He gently took the mic from her and made his way to the stage. (Let’s hope he yells a lot so we know he really means it and is angry.) He stepped onto the stage and said he would boo himself too if he was in the crowd. He said this goes way back to when Ali got hurt and Kofi got an opportunity and he stepped up and knocked it out of the park, but it should have been him. He said Kofi jumped through hoop after hoop and he walked in and ran the gauntlet. He said it should have been him, though. His voice began to quiver as he talked about each step of Kofi’s journey, ending with “It should have been me” each time. He said every day since becoming champion, Kofi has outperformed every critic and has earned it and they all respect and admire him “and it should be me!” His voice cracked as he said that’s why he had to do what he did. He said at Super Showdown he will beat Kofi for the WWE Title “because I have to.” He said he’ll become WWE Champion and each of them will admire him and respect him and love him.
-They went to the announcers who previewed Super Showdown’s top matches. They threw to a three minute video package on Triple H vs. Randy Orton and their history.
-Shane McMahon danced onto the stage and then introduced Elias. He called him Smackdown’s greatest acquisition. Elias strummed his guitar as he walked to the ring.
-They showed Reigns walking backstage, sans vest. [c]
(5) ROMAN REIGNS vs. ELIAS (w/Shane McMahon)
Reigns made his full ring entrance. Phillips hyped Shane vs. Reigns for the first time ever at Super Showdown. Reigns punched away at Elias at the start, so Elias rolled to the floor. Reigns went after him at ringside, so Shane ran away. Reigns hit the drive-by. A Shane distraction gave Elias an opening to kick the middle rope as Reigns stepped into the ring. Elias scored a two count. They cut to a break. [c]
Reigns rallied right after they returned from the break. (What’re the odds?) When Reigns set up a spear, Shane grabbed his leg. Elias then charged and hit Reigns with a running knee. Elias lifted Reigns off the top rope and gave him a twisting sitout powerbomb for a two count. Reigns came back with a Superman Punch, but Shane put Elias’s foot on the bottom rope. Reigns gave Shane a drive by as Shane was denying he did anything to the referee (who works for him). Elias then threw Reigns into the ringside steps and leaped off the top rope with a flying elbow drop (which he managed to make look like the safest move to take as there was somehow tons of light and almost no body contact). Reigns kicked out at two. Shane grabbed Elias’s guitar and set it in the ring, then distracted the ref. Reigns speared the guitar out of Elias’s hands and scored the pin.
-Shane attacked Reigns immediately afterward. He threw a bunch of punches (that all hit Reigns’s hands or the mat next to Reigns’s head). As Shane flew at Reigns with a guitar, Reigns hit him with a Superman Punch. Reigns then lifted the guitar and had some words for Shane as Shane begged off. Drew McIntyre showed up with a Claymore Kick and knocked Reigns down and out with it. (That looked good, and Reigns bumped like he was hit by a cannonball.) Drew then kneeled and trash-talked Reigns a bit. Shane raised Drew’s arm.
(Keller’s Analysis: It was a little corny with Shane and Elias, but Drew made things seem more serious at the end.)
For another perspective on this show, check out Brandon LeClair’s report here at PWTorch.com: LECLAIR’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT 5/21: Live, on-going coverage of Big E’s return, 24/7 title, more