7/27 WWE Smackdown in Nashville, Tenn.: IIconics vs. Kabuki Warriors, Bayley vs. Charlotte, Aleister vs. Andrade, Nakamura vs. Ali, Owens vs. Elias

WWE Raw analysis and discussion
Elias Samson (art credit Joel Tesch © PWTorch)


JULY 27, 2019

If you attend a live event, please send results with details on the matches, crowd reactions, and attendance to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

Estimated Attendance: Bridgestone Arena holds approximately 18,000 in total. There were approximately 7,500-8,500 people in attendance. The upper sections were tarped off and mostly unfilled, but almost the entire lower bowl and floor seats were filled with an energetic crowd.

Before the live broadcast on the WWE Network began at 8:00 PM Central Time, there were a couple of “dark” matches to get the crowd fired up.

(1) The New Day (Xavier Woods and Big-E) defeated The B-Team by pinfall to retain the WWE Smackdown Live Tag Team Championships in 5:00. The New Day came out to a huge pop and were one of the more popular acts of the night. As Big-E pounced on the ropes, the B-Team entered to a mix of cheers from children and some older fans (though mostly sarcastically). The match began with the typical house show antics of posing and chasing each other around the ring for comedic effect before the teams traded blows. The B-Team got the early advantage and isolated Xavier in the corner before Big-E got the hot tag. Big-E hit an overhead suplex on Bo Dallas and then the big splash for a two count. The New Day then dispatched of Curtis Axle before hitting Up Up Down Down for the win.

Bayley’s music hit and the crowd erupted with cheers, but she was quickly attacked from behind by Charlotte Flair who then exited to boos. As Bayley began to recover, she was then attacked from behind again, but this time by Alexa Bliss. Bayley recovered and limped to the back, setting up the triple threat match for later that evening.

(2) Aleister Black defeated Andrade with Zelina Vega by pinfall in 5:00. Aleister started the match quickly with a flurry of kicks and strikes to the body of Andrade. Andrade quickly rolled out of the ring to recover before going for a steel chair, distracting the referee long enough for Zelina to hit a hurricarana on Aleister. Andrade quickly capitalized, hitting Aleister with a back elbow and the double knees in the corner. As Andrade went for the hammerlock DDT for the win, Aleister countered and hit a combo of strikes and kicks, sweeping Andrade off his feet. Aleister then hit the kebrada off the ropes before nailing the final blow – the Black Mass for the 1, 2, 3. Aleister then spent some time after the match posing for the crowd and preening for cheers in what seemed like an attempt to get over with the house show audience, who seemed into Aleister but still entirely sold on the character.

We then went live for the broadcast on the WWE Network of Smackville Live.

(3) Shinsuke Nakamura defeated Ali to retain the Intercontinental Championship in 8:00. As has been reported, Finn Bálor was hospitalized and was unable to compete in the advertised match against Shinsuke. Shinsuke came to the ring and demanded that the ref ring the bell and count-out Bálor for the win by forfeit. As the ref neared the ten count, Ali’s music hit. There was a decent pop from the crowd (especially from the younger audience), but nowhere near the same level as the New Day. Ali offered to take Bálor’s place in the match and challenged Shinsuke for the title, which Shinsuke accepted. Shinsuke got the advantage early, hitting multiple strikes to the body before dumping Ali outside of the ring. Ali began to recover and took to the ropes to attack Shinsuke but was caught with a blow to the head. As Ali recovered outside, Shinsuke hit a baseball slide under the ropes. Back in the ring, Shinsuke hit a forward suplex, followed by multiple knee strikes to the ribs of Ali. Ali then began to rally with a flurry of chops, an insuguri, and an impressive backflip into a dropkick for a near three count. The two men then began to trade moves in a furious finish beginning with Shinsuke hit the sliding German suplex off the ropes. As Shinsuke went for the Kinshasa, Ali hit a superkick into a tornado DDT in the corner. Ali attempted to hit a 450 splash off the top ropes but Shinsuke rolled away. Shinsuke then dropped Ali face first into the middle turnbuckle and then hit the Kinshasa for the victory.

Samoa Joe then cut a promo in advance of his match against Kofi Kingston and Dolph Ziggler for the WWE Championship.

Next was Elias’s performance. Elias got a ton of heat from the crowd (probably the most of the night), relying on his tried-and-true methods of heeling on the hometown team. Unfortunately the sound system in the arena had a terrible echo throughout the entire night that made it difficult to hear any of the mic work throughout the night, including most of Elias’s promo. After several minutes, Elias was interrupted by Kevin Owens who promised to show Elias what he would do to Shane McMahon at SummerSlam.

(4) Kevin Owens defeated Elias in 5:00. Elias hit KO with a knee to the back before the bell and some quick stomps. Elias then wrapped Owens’s back around the ring post before rolling back into the ring for Walk With Elias. KO then began his rally and hit a senton dive off the top rope for a two count. As Owens went for the stunner, Elias countered with a high knee before missing an elbow drop off the top rope. KO recovered and hit the stunner for the pinfall.

Kofi Kingston cut a backstage promo before the next match, promising to become the greatest WWE Champion of all time.

(5) Kofi Kingston defeated Samoa Joe and Dolph Ziggler by pinfall to retain the WWE Championship in 15:00. Dolph Ziggler came out first to a silent crowd, but Nashville chanted for Joe and exploded for Kofi during their respective entrances. As the match began, Kofi started quickly with a quick dropkick and exchange of kicks to Dolph and Joe. The action then went outside the ring where Dolph tripped Kofi into the barricade to stop the momentum. Kofi rallied with a double axe handle onto Dolph, followed by the Boom Drop for a two count. As Dolph rolled outside of the ring, Samoa Joe hit Kofi with a Samoa drop. Dolph then set up Kofi for a superplex off the top rope before Joe ran over for the teased tower of doom spot. Joe carried Dolph away for an attempted powerbomb, but Dolph countered with the tornado DDT. Kofi hit Dolph with a cross body from the top rope, followed by the SOS. As Kofi went for the pin, Joe broke up the count. Samoa Joe then began working over both men, whipping Kofi into the steel steps outside and tossing Dolph onto the announcer’s table. Joe then hit Kofi with a stiff shoulder and went for the Coquina Clutch, but Kofi countered with a jawbreaker. Kofi attempted to hit Joe with Trouble in Paradise, but Joe countered with an ankle lock submission hold. Kofi crawled to the ropes to break up the hold, and Joe quickly went back into the Coquina Clutch. Joe held Kofi in the submission hold before receiving a superkick from Dolph. Kofi and Dolph traded blows before Dolph hit the Zig Zag for a two. Dolph attempted another superkick on Joe, who countered and hit Ziggler with an exploder suplex. Joe then hit Kofi with a stiff lariat, flipping Kofi head over heels. As Joe went for the Coquina Clutch once again, Kofi countered with Trouble in Paradise and got the victory.

The live broadcast over the WWE Network then ended.

(6) Heavy Machinery defeated AOP by pinfall in 7:00. The match started with Otis and Rekar trading shoulder blocks and clothesline, but neither man would go down. After several failed attempts to bring the other down, Tucker and Akem were tagged in, leading to several chinlocks and stomps in the AOP corner. Tucker broke the momentum with a Lou Thesz press and made the hot tag to Otis who hit slams in the corners on both members of AOP. Otis then hit an overhead slam and began to tease the Caterpillar. Just as Otis was about to begin the move, there was an interruption by the 24/7 Champion R-Truth as he fled Heath Slater, the B-Team, and Drake Maverick. As R-Truth made his way back up the ramp, Carmella hit Drake Maverick with a superkick, allowing R-Truth to escape still your 24/7 Champion. As Otis watched this farce play out, Rekar attempted the rollup but only got a two count. Otis regained the advantage and finally hit the Caterpillar for a big pop from the crowd. Tucker got the tag and Heavy Machinery hit the Compactor for the win. The crowd seemed into Heavy Machinery, but it was more of a respectful appreciation and less of a genuine interest or passion.

(7) IIconics defeated The Kabuki Warriors by pinfall to retain the WWE Women’s Tag Team Championships in 7:00. Billy Kaye started the match by stealing Kairi Sane’s pirate hat and marching around the ring mocking Kairi before tagging in Peyton Royce. Royce then attempted to kick Kairi in the gut after a faked handshake, but Kairi blocked the attempt and turned it into a dragonscrew leg whip. Asuka got the tag, and the Kabuki Warriors hit a combination dropkick and sliding elbow for a two count. Asuka struck quickly with a flurry of kicks and strikes to the Royce’s midsection in the corner before hitting a nasty knee to the face. As Asuka went for the hip attack, Royce slipped away and hit Asuka as she was caught in the ropes. The IIconics then went to work in the corner, trading quick tags and kicks in the corner. Asuka eventually broke the momentum and connected with a kick to Royce’s face. Kairi got the tag and hit a Royce with the Interceptor, both members of the IIconics with a springing neckbreakers, and then Royce with a sliding elbow in the corner for a two count. Kairi then dropped the Anchor on Royce but the the hold was broken up by Billy Kaye. Royce got Asuka to the mat for a pin and the assisted foot hold by Kaye on the outside for the 1, 2, 3.

(8) Sami Zayn defeated Apollo Crews by pinfall in 5:00. Before the match, Sami cut a promo heeling on the crowd and putting over Apollo – surprisingly it worked and the crowd quickly got behind Apollo. Frustrated by the crowd, Sami announced he would not give the crowd what he wanted and started to walk away. As Apollo discussed Sami’s departure with the referee, Sami attacked Apollo from behind. Apollo quickly recovered and showed his athleticism with a barrage of moves and dropkicks. Sami then broke the momentum by dragging Apollo’s jaw across the top rope and hitting a couple of double axe handles off the top rope. As Sami went for another double axe handle from the top, Apollo caught Sami with a punch to the gut. Apollo went for a gorilla press but Sami broke the hold with a rake to the eyes before Apollo recovered with the Olympic Slam. Apollo then hit a back elbow into an insuguri to bring Sami to the mat. Apollo attempted a standing moonsault but was caught by Sami’s knees. As Apollo took to the top ropes, Sami dragged the ref into the ropes to bring Apollo down before hitting a Helluva Kick for the win.

(9) Bayley defeated Charlotte Flair and Alexa Bliss by pinfall to retain the SmackDown Women’s Championship in 15:00. Bayley came out swinging, exchanging blow after blow on Charlotte and Alexa. Charlotte finally broke the momentum, allowing Charlotte and Alexa to double-team Bayley. Bayley finally began to fight back, throwing Alexa into the corner for a series of crossbody splashes and sliding elbows. Charlotte then caught Bayley with a back elbow and head slam into the corner before Bayley countered with a barrage of hits in the corner. As Bayley went for the pin, Alexa broke up the count and hit Bayley with kicks to the gut. Alexa then held Bayley for multiple chops by Charlotte. Bayley then threw Alexa to the outside into the steel steps and exchanged a series of rollups with Charlotte before Bayley caught a stiff right to the face by Alexa for a two count. Bayley recovered and draped both women across the top rope, hitting elbows in the corner before hitting Charlotte with a German suplex and Alexa with an overhead suplex for a two count. Charlotte attempted to hit Bayley with a spear but hit the ringpost. Bayley went for the Bayley-to-Belly on Alexa but was countered with a Canadian destroyer. Alexa attempted a backflip into the double knees but missed and was hit by a Natural Selection by Charlotte. Charlotte then attempted Figure Four Leg Lock on Bayley who turned it into a small package for a two count. Charlotte then countered with a spear but was then hit with a basement drop kick by Bayley for a two count. Bayley finally connected with a Bayley-to-Belly and an elbow drop from the top rope for the win.

Top Babyface reactions:
The New Day
Kevin Owens

Most Heel Heat:
Sami Zayn
Shinsuke Nakamura

If you attend a live event, please send results with details on the matches, crowd reactions, and attendance to pwtorch@pwtorch.com. Thanks!

RECOMMEDED: 7/28 WWE in Cape Girardeau, Mo.: Sami Zayn rips on crowd, IIconics vs. Kabuki Warriors, Aleister Black vs. Andrade, Kofi vs. Joe vs. Ziggler, Bayley vs. Charlotte vs. Bliss

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