WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER 5/21: Continued Money in the Bank Fallout; Big E’s Back Now Yes He Is, The Huggable Champ Talks, Reigns vs. Elias, 24/7 Chaos, Bryan & Rowan’s Revolution

By Frank Peteani, PWTorch contributor

Bayley (photo credit Tom Gibson © PWTorch.com)


MAY 21, 2019

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton

Smackdown Rating Last Week: 1.38; DOWN .08 FROM PREVIOUS WEEK

Arena, Money in the Bank Results Pertinent to Smackdown, Items Advertised by WWE, and Show Start Time

WWE Smackdown returns to the Dunkin Donuts Center in Providence, R.I. Smackdown last appeared here in April of last year. The arena opened in 1972 as the Providence Civic Center and is no stranger to WWE events. Both Raw and Smackdown have aired as well as a handful of WCW Nitros and Thunder episodes. Several PPVS emanated from here as well, including the Royal Rumble in 1994 which saw Bret “Hit Man” Hart and Lex Luger infamously both win the Royal Rumble by virtue of both their feet touching the floor at the same time.

We continue to move away from Money in the Bank with the next stop being the Super Showdown II from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on Friday, June 7, 2019. Here are the MITB results pertinent to Smackdown:

  • Bayley won the women’s Money in the Bank ladder match. She would subsequently cash in successfully on Charlotte Flair, who had defeated Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Championship.
  • Roman Reigns defeated Elias.
  • Kofi Kingston retained the WWE Championship over Kevin Owens.

Here’s what’s advertised for the show tonight. The arena’s website and WWE.com shows a start time of 7:45 p.m. local time for the house. 205Live will follow Smackdown proper:

Matches & Segments:

  • The New Day present Big E’s Welcome Back Celebration
  • What will Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley say in exclusive interview?
  • Roman Reigns and Elias clash in a Money in the Bank rematch

Storyline Follow-Up

  • Who will bring the 24/7 Championship to Smackdown LIVE?
  • Will Daniel Bryan’s tag team revolution continue?

New Day Celebrates Big E’s Return

Big E has not been on WWE TV since the Smackdown after WrestleMania. He suffered a knee injury requiring surgery in a six-man tag match involving he and his New Day partners (WWE Champion Kofi Kingston & Xavier Woods) vs. The Bar (Sheamus & Cesaro) and Drew McIntyre.

Last night on Raw we learned that Big E is returning tonight, and New Day will have a celebration. He’s had quite a bit of interesting comments to say the least on Twitter. Check out his Twitter feed to see what I’m talking about. Here’s a sample:

Frank’s Analysis: I’m not sure what to make of Big E taking digs at WWE programming and especially Brock Lesnar (referring to the boom box and box office comments), but it’s quite amusing to see an active wrestler doing so considering what WWE’s product is like these days. Nonetheless I would imagine New Day slips right back into doing their antics and perhaps furthers the feud with Kofi Kingston and Kevin Owens. Perhaps Sami Zayn arrives via the wild card and they have a tag match. Something with Smackdown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan & Rowan could also be afoot. Who knows, but with Big E back it’s a New Day yes it is.

Interview: Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley

As we know, Bayley is now Smackdown Women’s Champion. She won the 2019 Women’s Money in the Bank ladder match this past Sunday. She would subsequently cash in the contract later in the evening on Charlotte Flair, who had defeated Becky Lynch for the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Here is a clip from ESPN talking to Bayley getting her thoughts after the match as well as a WWE.com exclusive following all the festivities of Sunday:

Tonight, they will do an exclusive interview with the new champion.

Frank’s Analysis: The ESPN interview is cool to watch as it’s Bayley speaking more like herself, and not in WWE corporate language. It feels real when she talks about watching Eddie Guerrero winning the WWE Championship, her having the match with Sasha Banks in 2015, and wanting the fatal four-way with the Four Horsewomen of NXT again. The WWE.com exclusive is cool too, as it shows Bayley clearly wants to establish herself as a legitimate champion. This overall was a smart move by WWE, putting Bayley in a big spot. Hopefully they open up their piggy bank and allow themselves to make the money they can with a very popular and capable character. It’s there if they want it. I will be interested to see how they handle a feud with Charlotte going forward. My guess is they go right to it considering the events of Sunday, and there’s money in it lasting through the summer if they handle it right.

Roman Reigns vs. Elias

This past Sunday, Roman Reigns defeated Elias in what was virtually a squash match. Thank God.

Last night on Raw, Reigns arrived via the wild card. It’s not because Vince McMahon wants him on both shows, not at all. At any rate, Shane McMahon challenged Reigns to a match as a result of him being done with the Miz and Reigns superman-punching his father Vince upon his arrival to Smackdown. He claims Reigns disgusts him, that he would attack another man’s father (really Shane? The hypocrisy does make Shane a strong heel though.). He did this with Drew McIntyre by his side, who appears to be Shane’s “muscle” at the moment.

Reigns accepted, claiming his schedule is wide open and his business with Elias being done. Shane said that’s not the case and Elias isn’t done with him. Later on, we’d find out Reigns would take on Shane at the Super Showdown. Here’s a tweet from Reigns and then I’ll put my usual sarcastic remark:

I assume Jeddah is one of those places you’ll go. Where is that anyway? You can say it. It’s okay, they know. Anyway, we also learned that Reigns takes on Elias tonight in a rematch from Sunday.

Frank’s Analysis: There can’t be many expectations for this match. Sunday was exactly what it needed to be. While Elias is not much of a wrestling presence, I will have to admit watching to see what he does or says is a guilty pleasure. I’m sure Shane will get involved and look for Drew McIntyre to come over via the wild card to assist what appears to be his new meal.

24/7 Title

Last night, WWE Hall of Famer introduced the 24/7 Championship. The title harkens back to the Hardcore Championship, which existed from 1998-2002, of which Foley was the initial bearer. The title would go to have the moniker of being defended 24 hours a day, 7 days a week introduced by the last Crash Holly as long as a referee was present. There would be episodes of Raw, Smackdown, or PPVs where there would be multiple title changes.

WrestleMania X8 was one of the more dubious nights where the title went from Maven to Spike Dudley to The Hurricane to Mighty Molly to Christian and back to Maven.

Former WWE and WCW wrestler Raven has the most reigns at 27.

Last night likely set the tone as Titus O’Neil became the initial championship by winning a “scramble.” As he was making his way to the back, Robert Roode defeated him to win the title. Later on, as Roode was trying to escape, R-Truth appeared to be helping him get into a car when in fact he revealed a referee. Truth would defeat Roode to win and end the night as the champ.

Drake Maverick, current 205Live GM, has been on the lookout on Twitter for Truth:

We can expect Truth to show up with the 24/7 Championship tonight for sure.

Frank’s Analysis: WWE is not going to build up its undercard, let’s be honest. This is probably the best way to get guys like R-Truth, Titus O’Neil, No Way Joe, EC3 (sadly), Tyler Breeze, and guys like that on TV. I’m against this as a concept because I hate seeing guys get beat with one move, because that normally wouldn’t happen in the ring. The concept I fear will get old quick as WWE tends to overdo things. On the other hand, I speak to someone on Twitter regularly who pointed out that WWE can use the social media platform to tell stories with the title as Drake Maverick is already using. That could be a positive, so we’ll see.

Daniel Bryan & Rowan’s Tag Team Revolution

This past Sunday on the Money in the Bank kickoff show, Smackdown Tag Team Champions Daniel Bryan and Rowan lost a non-title match to the Usos who wrestled them via the Wild Card rule. After the match, Bryan had this WWE.com exclusive interview:

It’s hard to say what it all means, but we’ll get filled in tonight on what Bryan and Rowan have in store for the Smackdown tag team division.

Frank’s Analysis: I almost felt like there was a babyface turn happening when he talked about overcoming several obstacles. I’m surprised he didn’t reference when they told him he couldn’t wrestle anymore. Nonetheless, I get the sense he’s not done with the WWE Championship pursuit and will revisit that down the line. I’m excited to see what Bryan and Rowan have in store as a lot of positive can come from them being a tag team. I’m sure new belts are on the horizon considering he referenced his eco-friendly WWE title going back to the original version. I have to admit it’s a shame that things didn’t work out with WWE and Harper because they would have worked nicely as a trio. It is what it is.

Not Advertised for Follow-Up:

Andrade won a fatal four-way match involving the Smackdown participants in the men’s Money in the Bank ladder match. Andrade challenges “Demon” Finn Balor for the Intercontinental Championship at Super Showdown. During the ladder match, Andrade delivered a powerbomb to Balor onto a ladder.

Shane McMahon pinned Jey Uso clean in a handicap tag team match last week in which he teamed with Daniel Bryan & Rowan and Elias to face Roman Reigns and the Usos.

The Kabuki Warriors (Asuka & Kairi Sane) defeated Fire & Desire (Mandy Rose & Sonya Deville). Here’s a WWE.com exclusive with Paige explaining the name Kabuki Warriors, for those who care:

Sami Zayn (wild card) assisted Kevin Owens in double teaming WWE Champion Kofi Kingston in the run-up to Kofi’s match with Owens at Money in the Bank.

Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!

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