KELLER & POWELL FLAGSHIP (12/5)
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WWE SMACKDOWN PRIMER
AUGUST 13, 2019
TORONTO, CANADA AT THE SCOTIABANK ARENA
AIRS ON USA NETWORK, 8:00 p.m. EDT
BY FRANK PETEANI (@FrankPeteani), PWTORCH CONTRIBUTOR
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Corey Graves, Byron Saxton
Arena and Items Advertised by WWE
WWE wraps up its four-night stay at the Scotiabank Arena as Smackdown emanates from where this past weekend’s NXT:Takeover, SummerSlam, and last night’s Raw unfolded before our eyes. As I mentioned in yesterday’s primer WWE did a multi-night stay here last year around this time when they ran Raw and Smackdown.
Here’s what WWE.com is advertising for the show thus far. Look for matches and segments to be added later today as well as possible changes:
Matches & Segments:
- Roman Reigns to clash with Buddy Murphy
- Will Randy Orton respond to Kofi Kingston’s Kendo stick attack?
- What’s next for Kevin Owens?
- Who will step up to Bayley next?
Roman Reigns vs. Buddy Murphy
WWE’s Best Kept Secret certainly let out a secret at the close of Smackdown last week. I am referring to Buddy Murphy, whom until SummerSlam last night, had not made his main roster television debut since being moved from 205Live in this year’s …. umm …Superstar Shakeup. Roman Reigns confronted Murphy accusing him of either being his recent attacker or knowing who did it. With his back against the wall, Murphy told Roman it was Rowan. Daniel Bryan refuted this accusation in a WWE exclusive:
Murphy took on Apollo Crews in the SummerSlam kickoff show and was attacked by Rowan mid-match. Here he is on Twitter following what happened last week:
I came to #SDLive from #205Live because I know I belonged…in a ring. I don’t care about who attacked @WWERomanReigns but if he wants to put his hands on me again, I have no problem stepping in the ring with him. Anywhere. And smile right in his face… AGAIN! #BestKeptSecret
— Buddy Murphy (@WWE_Murphy) August 7, 2019
Been saying for months I want an opportunity to show what I can do. What do I get? A cheap shot and an attack during what could’ve been a GREAT #SummerSlam match. I’m not waiting… I’m challenging @WWERomanReigns to a match tomorrow on #SDLive. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT!
— Buddy Murphy (@WWE_Murphy) August 12, 2019
Roman has accepted Murphy’s challenge and they go one-on-one tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: Shouldn’t Murphy want to get at Rowan for interrupting his match Sunday? That was part of his complaint on Twitter. Anyway, this whole story doesn’t and never has worked in the past at least to me. When they named Rikishi as the guy that ran over “Stone Cold” Steve Austin in 2000, it did zero for him and we all know how beloved Austin is. Roman isn’t beloved half as much as he is, so why would anybody care who tried to attack him? Anyway, on the positive side I’ve been looking forward to seeing Murphy getting into the scene. We’ll see how things go.
Randy Orton to Respond to Kofi Kingston’s Kendo Stick Attack?
This past Sunday at SummerSlam, WWE Champion Kofi Kingston and Randy Orton fought to a double count-out. When both men were out on the arena floor, Orton gave Kofi’s family at ringside a stare down the way similar to what he has done to his opponents’ families before (Miz, Cena, etc.). Kofi didn’t appreciate that and went on the attack causing both men to be counted out. Later on, in the ring, he attacked Orton with a kendo stick.
Here’s Kofi with Cathy Kelley after the match in a WWE.com exclusive as well as a tweet he sent out:
Am I happy about still being WWE Champion? Of course. But I am NOT satisfied with the way the match ended. This thing between Randy and I, is not over. Not by a long shot.
— KOFI (@TrueKofi) August 12, 2019
This is far from over. We can expect follow-up tonight.
Frank’s Analysis: I’ve said it before. I love the WWE.com exclusives. That’s why I always put them in here when I can. The wrestlers sound so much more real and genuine. Kofi sounded legitimately upset at Randy’s actions Sunday. Hopefully he doesn’t follow this up by throwing pancakes to the crowd and gyrating with his New Day partners. He needs to be serious tonight, especially in wanting to beat Orton overall. He and New Day have it in them to be serious. Now is the time to do so.
Next Up for “Stone Cold” Kevin Owens
I know, there’s only one “Stone Cold” and that’s Steve Austin. I couldn’t help it here.
Kevin Owens got a large monkey off his back, at least for now, when he defeated Shane McMahon in a match where his WWE career was on the line. The odds were stacked against him as Shane introduced Elias as a special “enforcer” at ringside. Elias interfered a few times and especially at one point when he pulled the referee out during an attempted pin by Kevin. Here’s Kevin in a WWE.com exclusive following the match:
We’ll see if Shane is done with his antics and what’s next for Kevin.
Frank’s Analysis: I can hazard a guess what people want to see. At any rate, run with Kevin as a babyface. He loves what he does, and he appreciates the fans. RUN … WITH … IT, plain and simple. There is some truth to what Kevin is saying in regard to Shane. He has been great in his heel character, but to me it’s overstayed its welcome. I do find it interesting that Kevin beat Shane after Shane defeated Roman Reigns at Super Showdown. I don’t know if anybody cares about that, but I noticed it. Greg Parks and I talked about it on Wrestling Night in America last week and he was certainly aware of it. Anyway, hopefully they get out of the business of featuring Shane so prominently. It’s fine for a little while but enough is enough.
Next Up for Smackdown Women’s Champion Bayley
This past Sunday, Bayley retained the Smackdown Women’s Championship by defeating Ember Moon. The match went about ten minutes and ended when Bayley pinned Ember following a Bayley-to-Belly from the top rope, a version of that move we haven’t seen to my recollection. Following the match, Bayley talked to Kayla Braxton in a WWE.com exclusive:
Clash of Champions is a month away. We’ll see who’s lined up to face Bayley next. Bayley did tweet this out, but I don’t know what to think of it:
— Bayley (@itsBayleyWWE) August 13, 2019
Frank’s Analysis: I can’t see Candice LeRae being her next opponent, but stranger things have happened. Perhaps it was a red herring for things to come. Clash of Champions is in Charlotte, N.C. Need I really speculate on Bayley’s next opponent? If they’re not going to go to Bayley vs. Charlotte given Charlotte’s dad Ric Flair’s history with Clash of the Champions through the years and the fact that she’s from there, then what are they doing? If they do go this route it’ll be interesting with Charlotte positioned as the heel and Bayley as the babyface who has shown drips and drabs of heel tendencies lately.
King of the Ring Tournament
This is not an advertised item, but WWE announced the return of the King of the Ring tournament to begin next week on Raw. There will be eight Raw and eight Smackdown wrestlers participating (are they even officially split anymore?). Here are the respective lists:
All we know is the tournament will begin on Raw next week. The brackets, length of time, what the winner gets other than just being called King of the Ring, and things of the sort aren’t known at the moment. WWE Hall of Famer Don Muraco was the first winner in 1985. Fellow HOFer Bret “Hit Man” Hart was the winner in 1993 when the event first became a PPV and ran for nine years. The last winner was Wade Barrett in 2015. “Stone Cold” Steve Austin cut his famous “Austin 3:16” promo when he won in 1996.
Frank’s Analysis: I’m super-happy this is back. I hope it leads to something for the winner. Tournaments write themselves and could be a good way to elevate someone. Right now I lean on Drew McIntyre winning, and setting up a feud with Seth Rollins over the Universal Championship, but we’ll see how things unfold.
Other Match Results and Segments from Last Week
- Dolph Ziggler defeated Ali in the run-up to his match with Goldberg at SummerSlam
- Ember Moon defeated Natalya via DQ in a “SummerSlam challengers” match
- Aleister Black defeated Sami Zayn
- Elias insulted Chad Gable and Gable soaked it up
- Smackdown Tag Team Champions New Day (Big E & Xavier Woods) defeated Daniel Bryan & Rowan via DQ when Rowan hit Woods with the stairs.
Overall Thoughts on Tonight’s Show
Last week, multiple wrestling media outlets reported that Vince McMahon rewrote the show as close to two hours to showtime. If the rewrite was needed because the show needed improving that’s fine, but it’s hard to think that was the case here for what I think are obvious reasons. I really don’t care, but I do get a laugh out of it. We’re heading towards Smackdown being on FOX, so the next two months will be interesting. We’ll see how the post-SummerSlam show unfolds tonight and how hot the crowd is for the festivities. Last night’s Raw was enjoyable on a lot of levels. We’ll see how it goes tonight.
Follow Frank on Twitter @FrankPeteani. Questions and discussion are welcome. Thank you for reading!