KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (11/14)
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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JUNE 18, 2019
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-The show began with New Day’s entrance as the announcers hyped Kofi Kingston vs. Dolph Ziggler in a cage. Xavier Woods then talked about the cage match. He said Ziggler has to make it through him first, though. Big E said he has deemed the second hour of Smackdown “the freaky hour.” Ziggler interrupted. He said it’s typical New Day out there distracting everyone. He said they are just distracting everyone from the fact that Kofi doesn’t deserve to be WWE Champion. He said on Sunday, Xavier and Big E won’t have his back. He said Kofi have to stand on his own. He said the next time he goes to Ghana it’ll be an apology tour instead of a celebration. Fans chanted “Kofi!” He said at Stomping Grounds, it will be him slamming Kofi’s body into that unforgiving steel, grinding his face against the cage, and “it will be me kicking ass and taking names.” (There’s the corporate theme being expressed again.)
Kofi said to hold up. He told Ziggler he knows all about cages. He said his journey began inside the Elimination Chamber, so it’s familiar territory for him. He said he will beat him at Stomping Grounds, whether it’s climbing out of the cage or pinning him. He said Ziggler needs to be worried about tonight first, though. Ziggler said after tonight, Xavier will be able to help him again. He said on Sunday, all the positivity and bad inside jokes and the pretending to be something he’s not comes crumbling down. He said at Stomping Grounds, he will no longer be WWE Champion. “It should have been me! It should have been me! It should have been me all along” he said. “And this Sunday it will be me.” Ziggler’s music played and he walked toward the ring.
-They showed Bayley backstage smiling at a poster of her on the wall. Saxton said she’ll go face to face with Alexa Bliss regarding the malicious allegations Bliss has made about her. Phillips said Xavier vs. Ziggler is up next. [c]
(1) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. XAVIER WOODS
Phillips tried to justify Xavier hitting Ziggler at Super Showdown by saying Ziggler hit him earlier at ringside when he merely was checking on his friend and partner Kofi. A few minutes into the match, Kevin Owens and Sami Zayn attacked Kofi and Big E at ringside. That distracted Xavier. The ref ordered KO and Sami to the back. Xavier dove onto them on the floor. Ziggler caught Xavier with a DDT for a near fall. A second ref came to ringside. They cut to a break. [c]
They aired action on split screen and showed Ziggler controlling the action. Back live, Xavier made a comeback with a discus punch. He scored a two count. Both were slow to get up. On the ring apron, Xavier tried to lift Ziggler, but he shoved him into the turnbuckles. He barely grazed the turnbuckles, coming to a near complete stop before barely touching them, but sold it anyway. Not the best spot. Ziggler superkicked him off the ring apron. That looked sharp. Back in the ring Ziggler delivered a Zig Zag. Ziggler twisted and torqued Xavier’s arm around the top rope, then superkicked him and scored the three count. Phillips said if Ziggler brings that kind of malice and precision to Stomping Grounds, he could become champion. Graves said this might be the most dangerous Ziggler they’ve seen.
WINNER: Ziggler in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Solid match. It made sense to give Ziggler a win heading into a title match.)
-They went to the announcers who threw to a video package on Seth Rollins going after prospective referees last night on Raw.
-Curtis Axel told Bo Dallas he’s interested in being the referee. Bo said it’s a high profile match and he’d like to step back into the spotlight. Shelton Behmain was next to them. He said he knows Corbin is just trying to use them to win a title, but he’s open to using him back. They panned over to reveal they were lined up outside of Corbin’s locker room. Matt Hardy left and looked at Shelton and said, “Senior Benjamin, you are up next.”
-Phillips hyped a new episode of Firefly Funhouse later.
-They showed Nikki and Alexa Bliss discussing notes on a card backstage. She handed a worker her coffee cup for a refill. [c]
-Alexa sat on her chair on set on the stage. Nikki excitedly stood next to her. Bliss shouted, “Coffee!” Instead, Bayley came out to her music. She had Bliss’s coffee, but she was swigging it herself and flaunting it. Graves said it’s rude. Saxton said it’s kind of funny if you think about it. Bliss told Nikki she told her how selfish Bayley is. Bayley denied her allegations. She told Nikki she’s sorry to tell her that Bliss is just using her and isn’t really her friend. Bayley stood and told Bliss she’s tired of her talking behind her back, so she dared her to say it to her face.
Bliss said she knows the real Bayley. She said she saw through her in NXT when she started. She said no matter how hard she tried, everyone there made her feel like she didn’t belong, and so she turned to the supposed nice person, but she made her feel worthless. She said only Charlotte treated her with respect. She said she is out there now with her Bayley buddies dressed like she just came out of Forever 21. “You’re not a hugger, you’re a liar,” she said.
Bayley said none of that happened. She told Bliss she’s doing to Nikki what she did to Nia Jax and Mickie James. She said the truth is, she’s just an entitled little princess who doesn’t deserve a damn thing. Bliss said she’s not entitled, she’s just better than her. She said she always has been better than her because she has a natural gift. Bayley said Bliss latches onto everyone to try to get ahead, but she’s never needed anyone but herself to succeed, and now she’s the Smackdown Women’s Champion. Bliss said she’s a placeholder because she peaked in NXT. She said the one person she found so undeserving is now living out the career she always wanted. That triggered Bayley to attack Bliss. Nikki yanked Bayley off of her. She yelled at Bayley. Fans chanted “Bayley! Bayley!” Bliss then blindsided Bayley with the WWE Title belt.
-Backstage Apollo Crews told Zelina he’s looking for Andrade. She accused him of trying to flirt with her. “What?” he exclaimed in a high-pitched voice. She reached over to touch him. Andrade them charged at Apollo and attacked him and stomped away at him. The camera showed Chad Gable off to the side taking notes on what he just saw.
-They showed Daniel Bryan and Rowan chatting backstage as Phillips said B-Team faces Heavy Machinery next. [c]
(2) B-TEAM (Curtis Axel & Bo Dallas) vs. HEAVY MACHINERY (Otis & Tucker)
Bryan and Rowan sat at ringside with their belts. Bryan said they told B-Team to show Heavy Machinery what it’s like to face a former championship team. When Graves said Heavy Machinery were paying tribute to The Bushwackers, Bryan said they should aspire instead to be more like The Sheepherders. He told Graves to look it up on the Network. Saxton said he thinks Bryan & Rowan are underestimating Heavy Machinery. Bryan said they treat the tag team division like a joke. Bryan said they’re trying to turn the tag team division into something serious after being a joke for so long. Otis hot-tagged in and spun Bo around before slamming him, then clotheslined Curtis over the top rope. He turned back to Bo who kicked him in the gut. Otis danced and no-sold it, then hit the caterpillar. Then Otis and Tucker finished Bo with their finisher.
WINNERS: Heavy Machinery in 3:00.
-Seth attacked Bo and Curtis from behind with a chair over and over. Graves said no one is going to want to be a referee for Corbin. He said you blame Brock Lesnar for this carnage. (That’s a stretch.) Fans cheered and chanted, “Burn it down!”
-They showed a limo arrive. Phillips said they’ve been anticipating the arrival of the Best in the World. Shane got out of the limo. Sami and KO walked up to him and said Seth showed up with a chair and beat up B-Team. Sami said there’s no telling whom he attacks next. KO said only “bad people” attack people from behind like that (an ironic reference to their attacking Kofi & Big E earlier). KO said Kofi is a bad person, too. He said something needs to be done. Shane suggested they team together against Seth & Kofi in the main event, two out of three falls. He said they should take care of those bad people. Sami wasn’t happy. [c]
-Aleister Black asked what it takes to change the essence of a man. He said he understands why no one has picked a fight with him. He said he hears their whispers as they walk by that he was never meant to succeed and was a child destined to fall from grace. He said someone will come knocking at his door and pick a fight with him. He said he shall change the essence of that man who does.
-Shane made his ring entrance.
Shane walked onto the stage, then was joined by Elias first, Drew McIntyre next. Phillips plugged Roman Reigns vs. Drew at Stomping Grounds. They entered the ring together. Shane said everyone already knows he’s the best in the world, so he told ring announcer Greg Hamilton to sit down. Shane said Drew is going to “kick ass and take names” at Stomping Grounds. Drew said he prays for Roman that he’s listening to him right now. He said he did him a favor because Shane wanted him to end his career last night, but he told Shane they are better than that. He said Roman sucker-punched him during their party. He said he wants no excuses on Sunday. He was interrupted by The Miz. Drew threw down the mic as Miz’s music played. “First Rollins, now you,” Shane told Miz. “What the hell is going on around here.” Miz pointed at the big screen. It showed Reigns beating up The Revival and then slamming Drew through the catering table, followed by chasing Shane to ringside and tackling him.
Back live, Miz smiled and extended his arms. Shane asked if he thinks that’s cute or funny. Miz said not compared to this. Then they showed Shane in slo-mo being chased by Roman backstage, then getting Superman Punched in slo-mo. Saxton said he likes special effects. Miz said he didn’t know it was possible to sweat in slo-mo. Shane said if anyone else plays any clips, they won’t have a job tomorrow. Miz said Shane is the guy who starts every game because his dad is the coach. Miz said he’s going to host a Miz TV next week showing highlights of Reigns knocking out Drew. Drew said, “I dare you to try!” Shane said it’s not his fault that his dad is a billionaire whereas his dad “comes from dirt, a baked potato.” Miz said when he came back to Smackdown, he pushed for it to be different than Raw, “the land of opportunity.” He said now he sucks up all the air time to feed his ego and serve his friends. “I am sick of it! We are sick of it!” he said. He said he blames himself because he created a monster at the World Cup. He said everyone now has to deal with it. “Shane, you are my responsibility. I sent you down this ego trip and I will be the one to end it.”
Shane said Miz harbors resentment, but the truth is he couldn’t get things done himself. He said since he’s all revved up and ready to go, how about they have a tag match – Drew & Elias vs. Miz and any partner of his choosing “as long as it happens in the next ten seconds.” Shane counted down from ten. R-Truth showed up at ringside. Miz asked him to be his partner. Shane said he didn’t see that coming. He made it a tag team elimination match. [c]
-They played a sponsored series of clips of Mr. Fuji.
-Backstage, AOP left Corbin’s office and said they were glad they caught him before he left. Then the IIconics walked by and approached Paige, Asuka, and Kairi Sane. They laughed at them. Paige proposed a tag team title match. The IIconics said they are the longest reigning Women’s Tag Team Champions ever and their calendar is full. Paige said they’re traveling to the same places, and she asked and received a match next week in Tokyo against them. Paige said if they win in Tokyo, they get a title match and it’ll be iconic. The IIconics groaned.
(3) ELIAS & DREW MCINTYRE vs. R-TRUTH & THE MIZ – Elimination Match
Phillips said the 24/7 rules would be suspended while Truth was active in this official match. Saxton talked about the history of Miz and Truth as a team. Graves said Truth can’t remember seven years ago. The heel duo isolated Truth for a while. Shane yanked Miz off the ring apron just as Truth was in range for a tag. Fans booed. Elias then eliminated Truth with a running knee in the corner. Suddenly Shelton, Brian Kendrick, Jack Gallagher, Matt Hardy, and the Singh Brothers chased down Truth. Shelton took the belt. The ref explained to Shelton he can’t just take the belt, he has to pin Truth. Truth snatched the belt back and ran through the crowd. [c]
During the break, they showed Miz taking a beating. He made a comeback, but eventually succumbed to the numbers and was pinned after a Claymore Kick.
WINNERS: McIntyre & Elias in 10:00.
-Shane held Miz’s head up and then Drew delivered a Claymore Kick.
-The announcers hyped Stomping Grounds.
-Backstage Ember Moon asked Carmella if she’s seen Mandy Rose and Sonya Deville. Carmella asked if she’s seen Truth. Moon hadn’t. Moon then came upon Rose and Deville, who must’ve been in her view the whole time. (She literally was looking back and forth, scanning the whole area when they were 12 feet directly in front of her eating donuts. Could they not have a found a corner for her to turn?) “I can’t believe we eat all the donuts and look like this,” Kaye said. Moon said she’s been dealing with people like them her entire life. Mandy said they broke her video games so she can spend her time more productively. Kaye offered Moon a donut. A brawl broke out. (Has anyone ever fought someone for offering them a tasty donut?) Referees intervened.
-They showed Seth and Kofi chatting backstage. [c]
-The Firefly Funhouse that aired last night aired again.
-Truth was yelling outside for Carmella. A referee got out of an SUV. Carmella appeared to be standing near by, but was actually Drake Maverick in her wig and clothes. Truth said she must’ve shrunk. Truth tried to get away, but Drake rolled him up, and his boobs fell out of his shirt. Drake drove away and shouted, “I’m getting married! I’m the champion!” Truth said, “Carmella didn’t tell me she was getting married, and why wasn’t I invited!”
-Sami and KO chatted backstage. [c]
(4) KOFI KINGSTON & SETH ROLLINS vs. SAMI ZAYN & KEVIN OWENS
Phillips noted that Xavier and Big E weren’t at ringside. Graves said it’s good practice for Kofi on Sunday. Seth and Kofi got separate ring entrances. Kofi scored a quick three count with a Trouble in Paradise on Sami as soon as the bell rang. (Why does that never happen unless it’s a two-out-of-three falls match?) [c]
(Keller’s Analysis: So the tradeoff for cutting away mid-match to commercials with the orchestrated ringside breather is that we have unrealistically quick first falls in best-of-three-falls matches?)
Sami and KO isolated Seth for a sustained period in the second fall. They showed Paul Heyman watching backstage and wondered if Brock Lesnar was near by. Seth fought back with a headbutt and a blockbuster, then hot-tagged in Kofi. He hit Sami with a flurry of moves and then played to the crowd. Sami caught a charging Kofi with a boot to the face, but Kofi came right back with a crossbody off the ropes for a near fall. Seth tagged in against Owens next. Seth hit a dive at ringside, then called for the Stomp. Sami yanked on his leg. Kofi leaped at Sami and clotheslined him. KO rolled up a distracted Seth for a two count. Seth then blocked a Pop-up Powerbomb and superkicked KO. He followed with an enzuigiri and then a Stomp.
WINNERS: Seth & Kofi in 10:00.