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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 6, 2019
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-Phillips introduced the show enthusiastically as the camera panned a relatively close-up portion of the lower deck as the screen noted they were in Detroit, Mich.
-Charlotte made her ring entrance. Lots of references by the announcers to “The Queen.” Saxton said Sunday will feature a dream match with Charlotte vs. Trish. Phillips noted Trish wrestling in her hometown of Toronto will play a factor. Charlotte entered the ring and said every time The Queen steps foot inside the ring, they are witnessing greatness. She said most aspire for greatness, but sadly they don’t have the genetics, talent, or discipline to achieve it. “So at the end of the day, you either quit, you lie to yourself, or you end up doing something else. Just like my opponent at Summerslam, Trish Stratus.” She said when the industry began to change, Trish decided to do something different – starting a family and buying a minivan. She said at the height of the Women’s Evolution that Trish supposedly wanted to come back for one more match, but she thinks Trish is obsessed with how much short she falls short of her greatness. She said it eats her alive. She said the athletes of today are superior to those of yesterday. She said her dreams to score one more big victory in front of her family and friends won’t come true, and in fact she’ll shatter those dreams.
She threw to a video on the big screen showing “highlights of my career.” The video opened with Michael Cole introducing Trish as perhaps the greatest WWE Women’s Champion of all time. And then Trish’s music played and they showed Trish highlights. They cut back to Charlotte who was pacing angrily in the ring at the double-cross. Trish then came out onto the stage. Trish said the Queen isn’t used to not getting what she wants. Charlotte said, “I thought I saw your minivan in the staff parking lot.” Trish said, “That’s cute, cute.” Trish entered the ring and said the reason she played that video was to remind Charlotte why she’s even there. Trish said it’s true she has been dreaming of one more match. She said it’s been eating at her because she is the embodiment of everything she fought for. She said she has something to prove to her kids or to the fans, but also to herself. She quoted “the great Harley Race: There is no greater feeling in the world than to be under these bright lights.” She said she wants that and needs that. She said Charlotte might be the Queen, but in the end she’s not her. Mild cheers.
Charlotte said, “Welcome to your nightmare, Trish, because this Sunday I’m going to make you bow down to the Queen. Woooo!” Trish slapped Charlotte across her forehead. Charlotte got in her face, shaking with agitation. Fans chanted “One more time!” Charlotte then began laughing, then left the ring.
(Keller’s Analysis: That video did a great job capturing why Trish was so popular during her time. Charlotte’s still too robotic in her reciting of her lines, and the reliance on the “bow to the Queen” stuff is stifling what could be a more dynamic heel act. That said, she was a total arrogant jerk there and played well off of Trish, especially with the judgment of her putting family ahead of continuing with her career. This was the best Trish has been since her return, although still lacking a real spark to ignite a crowd reaction.)
-The announcers hyped New Day vs. Daniel Bryan & Rowan, Shane McMahon as a special guest on The KO Show, and Rey Mysterio vs. Dolph Ziggler. [c]
-They showed a postcard shot of the Detroit skyline.
-Highlights aired of the Ziggler-Goldberg angle on Miz TV with Shawn Michaels last night.
-Goldberg’s music played, and then Dolph came out of the locker room flanked by four security guards imitating Goldberg. Ziggler attacked Rey at ringside, learning from his old pal Drew McIntyre’s treatment of Cedric Alexander. He beat on him until three officials ran out to aid Rey. Ziggler entered the ring. “Another legend goes down courtesy of D-Z.” Ziggler said Goldberg says he’s next, but he will do what he does best on Sunday. He said he’ll end the legend of Goldberg. He YELLED, “This match at Summerslam is your last!!!” Suddenly Ali’s music played. He ran out to check on Rey, then he slid into the ring. He blocked a Ziggler super kick, then kicked Ziggler out of the ring. He dove through the ropes onto him and then played to the crowd. They cut to a break, but stayed with the ring on split screen. Ali appeared to challenge Ziggler to a match on the mic. [c]
(1) ALI vs. DOLPH ZIGGLER
Phillips said the match was made official during the break. Saxton credited Ali for coming to Rey’s aid. Ziggler went for Sweet Chin Music a few minutes in, but Ali avoided it and rolled him up for a two count. Phillips said Ziggler “stole” Sweet Chin Music from Michaels. Ziggler then headbutted Ali and superkicked him for a clean three count.
WINNER: Ziggler in 4:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Of course, Ziggler should get a win since he’s headed to Summerslam to face Goldberg, but what a waste of Ali after telling a story for months that he was one step away from becoming a champion if not for an injury to his eye socket. That defined down Ali. Others could have been in that role.)
-They went to the announcers at ringside who threw to footage of the “jarring and trying weeks” for Roman Reigns. They even had a new camera angle from within the car. So apparently the culprit recorded his actions and provided the footage to WWE since last night? They showed Reigns getting mic’d up for a sit-down interview to talk about his last week. [c]
-They aired highlights of Seth Rollins and Brock Lesnar on Raw last night and then hyped the Summerslam matches. Phillips then threw to Kayla Braxton by name.
-Braxton asked Roman how he’s keeping it together. Reigns said he’s had so many obstacles and advertisity, but he always knew what was going on and what was attacking him. He said he doesn’t know who’s attacking him or why. “I’m in the dark,” he said. She said someone or several are trying to get him. She said WWE is offering security. He said he’s always done things alone. (Huh? Does he remember The Shield?) He said it’s another thing to try to hit him with a car. He said it’s affected his livelihood and his ability to provide for his family. (No multi-millionaires should ever use that line. He’s set for life unless he’s living a lavish lifestyle or has had a rough time with finances.) Kayla asked who his attacker might be. Reigns said Joe was there, so he wanted to apologize to him that his name was dragged through the mud. He looked at the camera and said he didn’t mean for his name to be dragged through the mud. Fans applauded. He said the attacker is still out there and he’s seen the footage. He said he’s going to make sure he gets some answers tonight.
-They showed Natalya walking backstage. Saxton plugged Natalya vs. Ember Moon in a battle of no. 1 contenders was next. [c]
-The announcers threw to the video package on Harley Race.
(2) NATALYA vs. EMBER MOON
Saxton said he talked with Ember who said she doesn’t want to be seen as a charity case. She said she wants to prove to Bayley she isn’t an easy pick to beat at Summerslam, but deserves this match. Natalya took it to Moon at ringside a couple minutes into the match with an aggressive attack including a hard drop-kick and then a sharpshooter on the ramp. She didn’t break as Moon yelled in pain. The ref DQ’d her. Bayley ran out for the save. Natalya shoved Bayley, then walked away. Bayley helped Moon up and then held her arms like like she wasn’t going to take advantage of the situation.
WINNER: Moon via DQ in 3:00.
-They hyped New Day vs. Bryan & Rowan. [c]
-Kevin Owens was in the ring as his music played. He said this isn’t a normal KO Show. He told Shane to come on out so they can get it over with. Graves complimented how fast Shane was shuffling his feet, comparing him to Muhammad Ali. Graves said KO is irritated by Shane, who has gotten under his skin. Graves said he’ll miss KO a little bit once Shane beats him. Shane made the ring announcer Greg Hamilton introduce him properly. KO jumped to the floor and yanked the mic away from Greg. He said they don’t have time for that. KO said people have asked him over and over why if he put his career on the line, why didn’t he ask Shane to put his career on the line. KO said the answer is simple – his last name. KO said as a McMahon he can say whatever he wants and do whatever he wants. KO said so many have asked, he’s going to appeal to Shane’s “gigantic, disgusting ego” and challenge him to put his career on the line. He said since the McMahons always talk about what’s best for business, he should put his career on the line. “If I beat you, everybody gets what they wants because you are done.” Shane rapid-blinked, like he often does when he’s acting holier than thou and thinks he’s being spoken to by someone beneath him improperly.
“That would be an emphatic no,” Shane said. He told Kevin his ego got him in this situation in the first place. He went on to gloat about Owens agreeing to put his career on the line. Shane said there’s no shame in losing to the Best in the World. He said he could do it the old fashioned way and pin him in the ring. Or submit him. Or KO could even slip at ringside and get counted out. “Finally, I will be rid of you,” Shane said. (Shane’s cadence and body language was superb here.) KO said that means he’s not going to do it. Shane said he’s smarter than him, so of course he wouldn’t do that. KO said that proves he doesn’t have any balls. Shane said, “I’ve got those, and brains, Kevin.” He said KO’s professional decorum isn’t present tonight and he sees hostility in his eyes, so he’s willing to give him a preview of Sunday. KO threw the chairs out of the ring. Shane helped throw out the KO Show sign. Elias jumped KO from behind. Shane and Elias double-teamed KO. KO took out Elias and then threw Shane over the announce desk in a quick comeback. As KO went after Shane, Elias jumped him from behind. KO gave Elias a stunner on the table. Cheers. KO yelled to the fans in celebration. Shane swept KO’s legs with his arms and then pounced on him with a barrage of “punches” and stomps. He tipped the announce table on KO and then leaned a chair against his head as his body was trapped. He dropkicked the chair into KO’d head. Shane yelled that after Sunday, KO will be out of his life. “You’ve gone too far, you are going down!” He told referees to get away from him. [c]
-They replayed a snippet of Seth Rollins last night saying he’ll beat Brock Lesnar.
-They replayed Shane’s attack on KO. Sami said he offered Aleister Black a match at Summerslam where he would beat him and expose him and unburden him of all the hype he can’t live up too. He said Black responds with silence and locks himself in a dark room because he’s safe there. He said it brings him comfort to have people talk about how great he is. He said Black knows he will beat him and expose him and get rid of the hype of Aleister Black, and after that it will all be gone, and that terrifies him. Black’s music then played. Graves said Sami might want to rescind those comments. Graves said Black is one of the most lethal strikers in the world and also a complex person. Black’s ring entrance included being lifted from below again. Phillips said Sami is about to face a harsh reality. Graves said this isn’t fair to Sami, because he was preparing for Sunday, not tonight.
(3) ALEISTER BLACK vs. SAMI ZAYN
Black fended off an early Sami attack, kicked him to the floor, and then did his backflip off the middle rope into a cross-legged sitting position. They cut to an early break, but stayed with it on split-screen. [c]
Sami took over during the break. Black, of course, rallied and landed a quebrada and then a high knee and Black Mass for the win. Phillips said the lesson is Black is content to face anyone, but you better be prepared to go to battle with the Dark Destroyer.
WINNER: Aleister Black in 7:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: I’m more comfortable with this than the Ali loss earlier. Sami put up more of a fight, and as a heel who can talk and has already been defined as something less than a World Title contender, this doesn’t really hurt him. It counts for Black as an meaningful win and reminds viewers what his demeanor and style is like inside the ring.)
-An interviewer off-camera asked Shelton Benjamin if he ever sees himself competing for the 24/7 Championship. His eyes looked around. Then he said, “Well…” Then he smiled and walked away.
(Keller’s Analysis: Glad they didn’t totally drop that. Remember Mojo talking to himself in the mirror?)
-They showed Big E and Xavier Woods backstage getting ready.
-Firefly Funhouse: The pig was gorging on candy and brownies and passing out. Bray Wyatt walked in all cheerful and said Finn Balor is not afraid of anything, he loves that. He said his piggy friend Husky likes to stuff his face with sugary snacks to cover up his other insecurities. The pig burped. Kids laughed. He said Finn’s courage is just ignorance in disguise because he invited The Fiend to his doorstep willingly. “Yowee wowee,” he said before laughing. Bray began rubbing his temples and The Fiend began to flash on the screen. He said it’s time for Balor to feel some hurt. “Let me in,” he said with a sinister tone. Then images of The Fiend appeared with him saying, “Let me in.” [c]
-Phillips hyped the new WWE 2K20 video game. They went to a dinner party with an orchestra and Steve Austin, Hulk Hogan, Braun Strowman, Sheamus, Paul Heyman, Velveteen Dream, Roman Reigns, and Becky Lynch. Becky dropped through the ceiling, apologized, and then walked up to Roman, who said, “Nice work” and toasted her. (Seth’s going to be jealous.)
(Keller’s Analysis: They continue to slide Hulk back into the fold.)
-Chad Gable was warming up with stretch bands backstage when Elias walked up to him. Elias told him to get his bands away from his guitar. Elias said he thought he was talking to a child. He said his friend Randy Newman says “short people have no reason to live.” He stepped up to him and said he needs to be so-tall to be in the ring with him. He asked if he has a problem. He took his guitar and left as Gable soaked up the insult.
-Phillips threw to a video package on Kofi Kingston, responding to Orton. They replayed Orton saying Kofi got his chance because of him. Kofi said he got there in spite of him, not because of him. Kofi said it’s incredibly difficult to find a way to stand out in this company. He said in 2009 he was doing just that and he felt he was breaking through the glass ceiling and things were starting to click and fans were getting behind him. He said he felt that was the moment he made it. It didn’t work out, though. He said it wasn’t enough to beat him, he wanted to humiliate him. They showed Orton pinning him and then looking down at him and yelling “Stupid!” at him. “There were always rumors that Randy used his influence to hold me back,” he said. “I worked as hard as I possibly could and I’d go home every day and wonder what I wasn’t doing right.” He wondered why he wasn’t good enough to get to that next level. He said regardless of all of that, he has to stay positive and keep on grinding. He said he’d like to think he has proven he is worthy. He had to wait 11 years to get a WWE Title match, which made him more resilient and more appreciative of what he has. He said the Power of Positivity is how he lives his life, and he wants to inspire people. He said he uses his influence to lift people up, whereas Randy uses his to hold people down. He said beating Randy will be vindication and it will prove he belongs. He said when he stands tall holding up his WWE Title, “we’ll see who the stupid one is, right?” He smiled.
(Keller’s Analysis: Really nice. It fit his persona, didn’t feel phony or amplified for dramatic effect, and contained an inspirational message that defined him in contrast to Randy.)
-The New Day made their ring entrance. Saxton said back in the day, Big E would have rocked it as a member of the Four Tops. Graves said Saxton is “approximately 51 years old” and that’s the oldest reference he’s ever heard in WWE. Saxton said he’s in Motown. Big E was hilariously excited to hear the ring announcer say his name. Xavier played the trombone. Then Daniel Bryan and Rowan made their ring entrance. Phillips talked about Bryan teasing a career-altering announcement but not delivering on it. Saxton wondered if Bryan’s afraid to make the announcement.
(4) DANIEL BRYAN & ROWAN vs. NEW DAY (Xavier Woods & Big E)
New Day rallied early and Xavier landed a dive. They cut to a quick break. [c]
Bryan got sustained offense on Xavier, and then they cut to another break after some action at ringside. [c]
Bryan battled Big E. Bryan hot-tagged in Rowan who took Big E down with a spin wheel kick. Rowan lifted Big E onto his shoulders, but Big E slipped free and then took Rowan down with a clothesline. Xavier tagged in and leaped off the top rope with a flying elbow and made a cover. Bryan broke up the count at two. Big E speared Bryan through the ropes and they both landed hard at ringside. Xavier charged for a dive at Rowan, but Rowan lifted the ringside stairs. The ref called for the DQ. Oddly, Saxton said, “Apparently the rules don’t count anymore.” Rowan then hit Big E with the stairs, but the director missed the shot. Bryan stomped away at Xavier as Rowan gave Big E the Iron Claw Slam mid-ring. Bryan then gave Xavier a running knee.
WINNERS: Big E & Xavier via DQ.
-They showed Reigns walking backstage. He suddenly turned sharply and went into the locker room. He asked everyone to get out other than Buddy Murphy. Everyone left dutifully. (Roman came across as a jerk there.) He told Murphy he saw him there on scene and asked if he did it. “Did what?” asked Buddy. He asked if he was in the forklift. Buddy said he didn’t know what he is talking about. Roman said he just know who did it. Roman said he’s going to ask him one more time, and if he doesn’t give him the answer he wants, it won’t go well for him. Murphy raised his arms and said he doesn’t want trouble. He said he doesn’t know who did it, “but if I did, I still wouldn’t tell you a damn thing.” He laughed at Roman. Roman gave him an uppercut and then threw him into a trash can. He threw him against the wall and told him to tell him who did it. Buddy said it was Rowan. Reigns asked if Bryan and Rowan did it. Murphy said it was just Rowan, he didn’t see Bryan. They cut back to Bryan and Rowan standing in the ring as Reigns was shown soaking up the news on the big screen. And the show ended.