7/16 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on Shane’s Town Hall, Daniel Bryan’s big announcement, Extreme Rules fallout, Summerslam developments

By Wade Keller, PWTorch editor


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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
JULY 16, 2019
WORCESTER, MASS.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK

Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves


Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Zack Heydorn from the “On the Canvas” VIP podcast and PWTorch.com’s Raw report to break down the show with live callers, (perhaps) an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.

STREAM LIVE HERE STARTING WITHIN 5 MINUTE AFTER SMACKDOWN
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•SEARCH “WADE KELLER” TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW A FEW HOURS AFTER RAW


[HOUR ONE]

-They opened with a 90 second highlight video of Kevin Owens last week cutting his kayfabe-based “pipe bomb” promo.

-Backstage Shane McMahon was notified that Kevin Owens had arrived in a segment taped earlier in the day. He told security they know what to do if things get out of hand. KO walked in with his suitcase. Shane said he heard him last week, so he decided to have an open forum tonight for wrestlers to express any grievances. He said he won’t accept insubordination, though. KO said he works for WWE, not him. Shane said WWE is owned and controlled by the McMahon family. He told him he is no longer allowed in the building. KO left, but didn’t look happy about it.

-Shane stood in the ring as his music played. They showed the Smackdown roster lined up on stage. Then they threw to a video recap of the Roman Reigns & Undertaker vs. Drew McIntyre & Shane match. Back live, Greg Hamilton gave Shane the drawn out “Best in the World” introduction.

Shane said Owens has the night off and isn’t allowed in the building, but he gave him an idea for the first-ever Smackdown Live Town Hall. He said as long as they are respectful, he’ll listen to what they have to say. He asked who would like to go first. Reigns stepped up and said Shane doesn’t get it because nobody in the room respects him. He said as far as diplomacy goes, “you can kiss my ass.” Shane said that wasn’t respectful, so he’ll fine him. Shane called out Charlotte Flair. She stepped up and said what Reigns said “was so uncalled for.” She said from one family to another, thanks for the graciousness his family has shown her since she was born. Liv Morgan (imitating Gypsy from “The Act,” apparently), asked Charlotte if there was anything real about her. Charlotte made fun of her blue tongue and asked if she even works there. Liv said people like Charlotte don’t let people like her get fair opportunities.

Shane asked who else did KO talk about. He asked Buddy Murphy step up. He called him “WWE’s best kept secret.” Murphy said he doesn’t need KO to fight his battles. He said he might slap the words out of KO’s mouth. Shane said they’d talk later. Apollo Crews stepped up and said he hopes what he has to say falls under the category of “healthy dialogue.” He said everyone agrees with what KO said the other week. Zelina Vega interrupted and said she and Andrade don’t appreciate Crews trying to kiss up to the “WWE Universe.” Andrade yelled at Crews in Spanish.

Elias strummed his guitar. He said, “As the greatest acquisition in Smackdown history…” at which point Big E interrupted and said he’s actually the greatest jackass in Smackdown Live history. Kofi Kingston said they don’t like Kevin Owens, but he did have a point. He said it took too long for him to get a shot at the WWE Title. He said everyone on the stage has potential to do great things, but Shane’s not giving anyone opportunities. “What’s up with that, Shane?” he asked.

Shane said this Town Hall was “a good first start” and thanked wrestlers for participating. He said the first town hall is now concluded. He asked fans to cheer it. His music played. Graves called it the best town hall ever. As wrestlers left, Cesaro stepped up to the mic and said he had something to say. Shane said he’s a Raw wrestler. He said as a Wildcard, he’s on Smackdown to challenge someone who is a Smackdown wrestler. He challenged Aleister Black to pick a fight with him. Shane asked if he wants that tonight. Cesaro said, “Tonight.” Shane said he got his wish.

Shane began talking about how that showed he doesn’t have to rule with an iron fist. KO attacked him from the crowd wearing a “WWE Crew” t-shirt. KO gave Shane a stunner, although Shane totally botched the first attempt at taking the move, bumping even before KO began the move. That was strange. KO then fled through the crowd. [c]

-A plug for the Raw Reunion listed these names in this order: Steve Austin, Shawn Michaels, Razor Ramon, Eric Bischoff, Eve Torres, Santino, Hurricane Helmes, Jimmy Hart, and Godfather. They showed images of Kurt Angle, X-Pac, Sgt. Slaughter, Ric Flair, Hulk Hogan, Kevin Nash, Mick Foley, Triple H, Booker T, and others.

(1) ALEISTER BLACK vs. CESARO

They aired Aleister’s ring entrance. They cut to a break early in the match after a few kicks by Black after which he sat mid-ring. They stayed with the match on split screen. [c]

Cesaro took over during the break and then settled into a chinlock. Cesaro locked on a crossface. Black leveraged his shoulders down for a two count. Then he sent Cesaro shoulder-first into the ringpost. Black followed up with a Black Mass, knocking Cesaro’s mouthpiece out, and scored the three count.

WINNER: Black in 7:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: I still think Cesaro could have been rebuilt to something more than a gatekeeper role like this. He was a good opponent for Black as his push begins, though, in terms of strong wrestling. It didn’t help establish whether Black is a heel or face, though.)

-Dolph Ziggler told Shane that he’d like to teach KO a lesson. Shane said KO is long gone. Ziggler said he has the pull to get KO back as long as it’s billed as the main event of the show. Shane said go for it.

-Charlotte walked backstage as Graves plugged Charlotte vs. Liv Morgan was up next. [c]

-Phillips talked about Kofi Kingston being featured in Newsweek this week talking about how videogames bring people together.

-They went to the announcers on camera. Phillips threw to a WWE.com interview with Sarah Schreiber. Phillips actually said her name. That might be a first time her name has been said on TV by WWE. Bryan told her that he had a dream he was going to elevate the entire tag team division, yet it failed. He paced and lost his composure as he talked about trying to take jokesters to the main event and he failed. He kneeled and then got wide-eyed and said if he is going to save the planet, he has to aim higher. He whispered that he knows exactly what he has to do. Graves wondered where Bryan could go that he has never gone before. (205 Live? NXT? NXT UK? AEW?!?!)

(2) CHARLOTTE vs. LIV MORGAN

As Liv made her ring entrance, Phillips plugged the Raw and SD events at MSG in September. Grave said this could be the biggest match of Liv’s career. Liv rallied a minute in and then stuck her blue tongue out and taunted Charlotte while lying on her belly mid-ring. Graves asked if Charlotte might have underestimated Liv. Graves said maybe, but she’ll gain her bearings in a few seconds. Liv fended off a Charlotte’s comeback and scored a two count. Charlotte caught Liv, powerbombed her, and applied the Figure-Eight for the tapout win.

WINNER: Charlotte in 2:30.

-Afterward, a limping and crying Liv grabbed Graves’s headset. “Charlotte was right, and when I come back, I’m going to be real.” She threw the headset down.

-In the parking area, Ziggler asked a ref for KO’s phone number. He gave it to Ziggler.

-Ember Moon was shown backstage. [c]

-A vignette aired with Seth Rollins saying he’s always wanted to be a WWE Superstar as long as he remembers. “If I can, you can too,” he said. “Ignite the fire within you.” Then the WWE logo appeared on the screen.

(Keller’s Analysis: There’s some good stuff here in terms of the message and showing Seth as a kid wanting to be a wrestler, but it’s also going down the road of WWE having wrestlers act like representatives for a corporation trying to put on a good face. I think pro wrestling is more effective when the wrestlers are individuals who happen to wrestle under the auspices of a brand, but the wrestlers are focused on their careers and battles, not trying to promote some corporate goodwill campaign. It’s something WWE’s power brokers don’t get at all at this point because they’re so immersed in the corporate culture that they don’t really relate to why fans watch. People don’t watch the NFL because they believe it’s a good corporate citizen. They watch because they like certain teams and players and the game of football itself. I can’t imagine a UFC fighter helping themselves or ratings by touting some corporate catchphrase like “Ignite the Fire.” It would seem like they’re servants for a brand instead of cool but self-interested fighters.)

(3) EMBER MOON & BAYLEY vs. SONYA DEVILLE & MANDY ROSE

Why was Bayley a secret? Ember beat Rose with the Eclipse. There wasn’t a lot to this at all.

WINNER: Moon & Bayley in 2:00.

(Keller’s Analysis: After the crowd reaction to last night’s women’s tag match that went 23 minutes bell to bell, so now women are relegated to mini-matches again?)

-Kalya Braxton interviewed Bayley and Ember Moon in the ring afterward. She asked Bayley who her next opponent will be at Summerslam. She said she’s glad her issue with Bliss is in the past so she can elevate the division. She said she wants to face someone who is worthy of a title opportunity, someone with charisma, someone she’s never faced before, and someone who is dedicated to the championship should she lose. Bayley paused and looked over at Ember. Braxton smiled and said, “Ember, what do you say?” Ember said, “Hell yeah!” Graves took exception.

(Keller’s Analysis: WWE should really establish some criteria or process for title matches. Since when do champions get to pick whom they face in major title matches? And since when is “charisma” a qualifier for a title shot?)

-Schreiber interviewed Shinsuke Nakamura backstage and congratulated him on winning the IC Title. He said he’s now free to rain down KOs on the entire universe. Ali walked up to him and congratulated him.

-They showed Bryan and Rowan heading toward the entrance stage. [c]

[HOUR TWO]

-They aired a clip of KO attacking Shane at the end of the first segment of this show.

-They went to the announcers on camera. Graves said KO has been contacted and he’s on his way back to the arena.

-New Day made their ring entrance with Big E doing his usual mic work before the music kicked in. Kofi said now that they don’t have any more technical difficulties with the mic, they asked the fans to give it up for them. Kofi said they’re like three African-Amercian Leprechauns at the end of the rainbow with all the gold. Big E said they all know what Bryan’s up to. He said they don’t want to hear a ten minute lecture about recycling, fracking, and that “ice cream licking epidemic,” they accept his challenge right here, right now in Worcester. Bryan’s music played.

Bryan and Rowan came out after a while. Fans chanted “New… Day Rocks!” Samoa Joe then walked out and said Kofi should take his henchman’s lead and put his WWE Title on the line tonight. Elias then walked out next and said he’s primed and ready to take the title from Elias. Randy Orton then came out and said he’s ready to RKO his way back to the title. Elias suggested a six-man tag since they can’t all have title matches tonight. New Day conferenced, then said they accept. Orton said, “Nah, I’m good.” He turned and walked away. Kofi said you’d think Orton would be ready at any given time, but it seems as thought the Viper has gone a little limp. Big E laughed and danced. Orton turned around and marched to the ring. [c]

(4) THE NEW DAY vs. SAMOA JOE & ELIAS & RANDY ORTON

Joe and Elias got in stretches of offense. When Joe re-entered, they cut to a break and stayed with the action on split screen. [c]

During the break Orton finally got involved for a while. Back from the break, Xavier headbutted out of a superplex by Elias and then landed a missile dropkick. Xavier and Joe battled, with Xavier ducking a charging Joe. Joe tumbled to the floor. Xavier flip dove onto him. Elias charged at Xavier, so Joe yanked Xavier to the floor and applied the Coquina Clutch. Elias took out Big E at ringside. Kofi gave Elias a Trouble in Paradise to the ribs in the ring. Orton then gave Kofi an RKO for the win.

WINNERS: Orton & Joe & Elias in 9:00 when Orton pinned Kofi.

(Keller’s Analysis: That seems to set up the long-awaited Orton-Kofi title match for Summerslam.)

-Phillips plugged the KO vs. Ziggler match. [c]

-Backstage Carmella was looking for R-Truth. She heard him. He was inside a washing machine. She asked what he was doing in there. “I’m hiding, and now I’m stuck,” he said. She yanked the top off the washer so Truth could break free. “I don’t know how Kane did this. Ain’t no bathroom in here,” he said. Carmella suggested he try wearing a costume. She said he should go to Comic Con. Truth said don’t call him con because he did his time and community service. She said that’s not what she meant. He fell getting out of the washer. “Man down! Truth down!” he yelled.

(5) THE IICONICS vs. KAIRI SANE & ASUKA (w/Paige) – WWE Tag Team Title match

Phillips said The IIconcis are finally going to defend their titles. The babyface duo got in all the offense for a couple minutes. The IIconics then got intentionally counted out. They celebrated like they accomplished something great. Graves congratulated them for a “cerebral victory.” Graves said, “That was IIconic!” Kairi and Asuka attacked them at ringside afterward.

WINNERS: Kairi Sane & Asuka in 1:30 via countout, so the IIconics retained the titles.

-They showed Andrade and Zelina backstage. Graves said Andrade faces Apollo next. [c]

(6) ANDRADE (w/Zelina Vega) vs. APOLLO CREWS

Andrade arrived at the ring first. Crews arrived and played to the crowd. Andrade attacked him as soon as he jumped into the ring, before the bell rang. Andrade drove double-knees into the corner on Crews, but Crews surprised him with a crucifix for a three count.

WINNER: Crews in 2:00.

-They went to the announcers at ringside. They talked about the arrival of Bray Wyatt last night on Raw. They threw to a clip of his attack on Finn Balor.

-A Raw Reunion ad listed these names in this order: Ric Flair, Booker T, Diesel, D-Von, Mark Henry, X-Pac, Kelly Kelly, Road Dogg, Sid, Boogeyman, Rikishi, and Ron Simmons.

(7) DOLPH ZIGGLER vs. KEVIN OWENS

Ziggler got in several minutes of offense. KO made a comeback and landed a frog splash for a near fall at 4:00. Shane walked out with Drew and Elias by his side. B-Team, Cesaro, AOP, Nakamura, Andrade, and Buddy Murphy were with them. Graves said they’re all on the right side of history. Ziggler then gave Owens a Zig Zag from behind for a near fall. He threw KO shoulder-first into the ringpost next. He went for a Zig Zag, but KO countered with a stunner. He made the cover, but Shane pulled him out of the ring during the count. He gave Shane a stunner at ringside, then ran to the back as the other wrestlers chased him. Byron said KO “high-tailed it out of here.” Not sure that’s a term of babyfaces. Graves said they should stop replaying the stunner as it’s too much.

WINNER: Ziggler via countout in 9:00.

-Kayla interviewed Shane as he struggled to stand. He vowed that KO would pay and pay bad. Graves said a McMahon always pays his debts. Drew told Shane that KO won the battle, but he’ll win the war.


NOTE: We are still looking for an on-site correspondent for our post-show tonight, so if you are at the event and can be on our podcast, drop me an email at wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com. Thanks!


Tonight after WWE Smackdown, join me live with guest cohost Zack Heydorn from the “On the Canvas” VIP podcast and PWTorch.com’s Raw report to break down the show with live callers, (perhaps) an on-site correspondent, and the mailbag.

STREAM LIVE HERE STARTING WITHIN 5 MINUTE AFTER SMACKDOWN
•CALL: (347) 215-8558

•EMAIL COMMENTS/QUESTIONS: wadekellerpodcast@pwtorch.com
•SEARCH “WADE KELLER” TO DOWNLOAD THE SHOW A FEW HOURS AFTER RAW


4 Comments on 7/16 WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT: Keller’s report on Shane’s Town Hall, Daniel Bryan’s big announcement, Extreme Rules fallout, Summerslam developments

  1. Guys, just have Kevin Owens break out the six-packs in the ring already. This is so blatantly self-plagiarism of the whole Stone Cold versus authority thing that you have to wonder why they even bother having a writing staff at all.

    • Their writing staff consists of failed Hollywood writers who know nothing about wrestling. It is the first requirement for being employed in Stamford.

  2. I am giving this a show a big fat zero on general principle. The best thing that happened all year was Sami Zayn saying AEW and that gave AEW more publicity! Somebody needs to bring back the bra and panty matches because the women’s roster can’t wrestle worth a shit.

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