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KELLER’S WWE SMACKDOWN REPORT
AUGUST 27, 2019
BATON ROUGE, LA.
AIRED LIVE ON USA NETWORK
Announcers: Tom Phillips, Byron Saxton, Corey Graves
-A video recap aired of the Roman Reigns “whodunit.”
-Kayla Braxton approached Reigns as he walked the back halls and asked him about Daniel Bryan demanding an apology for falsely accusing Erick Rowan for attacking him. Reigns said he has something to say, but he’s saving it for the ring.
-Phillips welcomed viewers to Smackdown. He didn’t say they were in Baton Rouge, La., but the on-screen graphic did say the city. Graves mentioned Baton Rouge seconds later, asking Saxton to go swim with an alligator.
-Kofi Kingston made his ring entrance. They threw to a video package on the Randy Orton-Kingston saga. Kofi said that Orton likes to slither around the ring talking about him being stupid. “But tell me who got their ass knocked out last week out of nowhere?” he said. Kofi said things have escalated between them, but Orton made it personal. Kofi said he just wanted to prove he belonged in the top spot and deserved to be the champ. He said Orton didn’t want that and took it to another level by bringing his family into it. He said he made it personal when he and The Revival tried to take out his partner and brother, Xavier Woods. He said the last thing they saw after he walloped The Revival with the steel chair was Orton cowering, slithering, and crawling up the ramp with fear in his eyes. He said Randy was scared because he saw the look in his eyes. “That look said ‘When you mess with my family, I don’t play around.'” He said at the Clash, he has a chance to prove Orton is wrong about him – then and now. He said he is ready, and Orton will find out at the Clash why he is their WWE Champion.
Orton interrupted by saying “stupid” over and over and over again on the big screen. He asked Kofi if he had his attention. He said he’d like to show the world right now just how stupid he is, but he’ll wait until the Clash. He said earlier in his hotel room, he was thinking of ways to show how stupid Kofi is. He said someone slipped a letter under his door. He said he doesn’t usually read and certainly doesn’t ever reply to fan mail, but this letter touched his heart. He read it: “Dear Mr. Orton, please stop hurting Kofi Kingston. Kofi is not stupid.” The fan said Orton is so mean, he makes Kofi cry at night, and he knows that because Kofi isn’t just his hero, he’s his daddy. He said he realized he’s in the same hotel and Kofi’s family, so he can go pay him a visit right now.
Kofi ran to the back where Orton was waiting for him. They brawled. Randy got the better of Kofi and DDT’d him off a table onto the floor. Producer Adam Pearce and some referees pulled Randy away. [c]
-Big E stepped out of the doctor/trainer room. Kayla asked him about his scheduled match against Orton later. Big E said Kofi will be ready to compete at the Clash, but after tonight, he can’t say the same for Randy.
(Keller’s Analysis: Good to see Big E cut a serious promo. It was short, but effective at the selling the gravity of the situation.)
-They went to the announcers on camera. They threw to a video package recapping the results so far. Phillips referred to Ricochet beating Drew McIntyre as a “bracket buster.” They showed Bryan and Rowan attacking Buddy Murphy backstage after his win last week.
(1) BUDDY MURPHY vs. ALI – King of the Ring Tournament First Round match
They cut to an early break a minute in, but stayed with the action on split-screen. [c]
Murphy dominated during the break with mat holds. Ali came back after the commercial break ended. Murphy landed a running flip dive onto Ali at ringside. Back in the ring, Ali avoided a top rope double stomp or Meteora by Murphy, then hit a superkick to the chin. He then hit a reverse rana on Murphy for a near fall. Murphy hit a flurry of offense. Fans chanted “This is awesome!” Ali then won shortly thereafter with a windmill DDT and then a 450 splash. Graves called the DDT “one of the most outrageous moves he’s ever seen.” Graves said the match could have gone either way. Murphy offered a handshake afterward. Ali shook his hand. Murphy raised his arm. Saxton praised the sportsmanship. Ali looked leery of Murphy, but Murphy didn’t waver in being a good sport about the loss.
WINNER: Ali in 8:00 to advance to the second round.
-Phillips said later they’d find out if Reigns would apologize to Bryan and Rowan.
(Keller’s Analysis: It’s really undercutting the story that the announcers aren’t opining on the ludicrousness of Bryan and Rowan finding a look-alike and representing that as definitive proof that Rowan wasn’t involved.)
-Backstage Ember Moon approached Bayley and asked if Charlotte is in her head. Bayley said no, but she’s glad she’s there. She wanted to talk about Summerslam, but Ember told her she beat her and she’s still processing it and dealing with it in her own way. She said she will eventually beat her, but until then, Charlotte isn’t the face of the division, Bayley is. Ember said they’re there to bring out the best in each other and the best woman won. In walked Lacey Evans. She said if they think they’re the best at anything, they are wrong and both need to raise their standards. Lacey said she is the face of the division. Ember and Bayley burst out laughing. Lacey said she’ll prove she’s superior later.
(Keller’s Analysis: The random movement of wrestlers from one brand to the other continues.)
-The Miz made his ring entrance. [c]
-A clip aired of the angle with Sami Zayn & Shinsuke Nakamura and Miz last week. Miz said Sami is now Nakamura’s spokesperson. Boos. He said Sami is a hanger-on and he couldn’t do it himself in the ring. He said he once took the Intercontinental Championship the most prestigious and relevant title in all of WWE. He challenged Nakamura to an IC Title match at the Clash. Sami strolled out onto the stage to his music.
Sami said he doesn’t understand the dynamic between himself and Shinsuke. He said he is a liberator. He said thanks to him, Nakamura is feeling more free and stronger and better than he has in years. He said Miz talks about the IC Title like it’s his, but Nakamura “is your Intercontinental Champion.” He said Nakamura is an artist and poet and King of Strong Style. Sami said Miz is the King of Soft Style. (He has a point there.) Sami told Miz it’s about time he had a little respect beaten into him. Miz called Sami into the ring to try it. Sami said that’s not how he does things. He doesn’t do things on Miz’s time to please the idiots in the crowd. Miz said he’s bring the fight to him. Sami warned him. Nakaura then attacked Miz from behind. Nakamura kicked away at Miz as Sami yelled, “Look at the artistry of Shinsuke Nakamura.” He delivered a running Kinsasha as Sami celebrated. Sami told Nakamura to throw him into the ring. Nakamura did. Sami said Miz showed no respect for artistry. Sami held up a limp Miz so Nakamura could deliver another Kinsasha. Graves said Nakamura is as dangerous as ever.
(Keller’s Analysis: Sami adds something to Nakamura’s act.)
-The announcers hyped Big E vs. Orton.
-Backstage Elias was strumming his guitar. Kevin Owens walked in wearing his new “Stun Owens Stun” t-shirt. Elias told him to knock because it’s Shane’s office. KO said the door was open. Elias asked him what he was doing there because he already beat him. KO said he was there to talk to Shane. Elias said Shane wasn’t there. KO thanked Elias for the info and walked away.
(Keller’s Analysis: The Kevin Owens character feels so emasculated at this point.)
-Bayley made her ring entrance. [c]
(2) BAYLEY vs. LACEY EVANS
As Lacey made her ring entrance, Phillips plugged Paige would be a guest on “What Just Happened with Fred Savage” this Sunday on Fox. A couple minutes into the match, Charlotte strolled onto the stage. They cut to a break. [c]
They showed that during the break, Lacey threw Bayley shoulder-first into the ringpost after being distracted by Charlotte. Lacey gator rolled Bayley to the ring apron and then yanked her arm over the edge. Lacey concentrated on Bayley’s arm in the ring. Bayley came back with a leg submission hold, but Lacey grabbed the bottom rope. Lacey avoided a Bayley-to-Belly and then landed a top rope moonsault for a near fall, palm-facing Bayley during the cover. At ringside Bayley suplexed Lacey off the ringside barricade. Both were slow to get up. Back in the ring Bayley hit her Bayley-to-Belly, but Lacey grabbed the bottom rope to force the break. Charlotte, standing at ringside, smiled. Lacey came back with a neckbreaker, but Bayley caught her with raised knees next. Bayley then gave Lacey another suplex followed by a flying elbow off the rope for the win.
WINNER: Bayley in 12:00.
(Keller’s Analysis: Who had their money on Lacey being in one of the longest WWE TV matches of the week? A bit clunky most of the way and it never really left second gear in terms of pacing. There was a point where Bayley fed Lacey her head for a neckbreaker and she had to wait for Lacey to grab her and it looked bad. Lacey is just green and not really ready for national TV.)
-Graves again plugged the apology situation.
-Kayla interviewed Bryan and Rowan. Bryan said last week, he and Rowan presented Reigns with the despicable character who was really responsible for the attacks on Roman. He said he expected an apology from Reigns later.
-Orton’s ring entrance took place. [c]
(3) RANDY ORTON vs. BIG E
Big E came out looking serious. Saxton said he’s in fight mode. Big E attacked Orton at the bell and threw him to the floor. Then he threw him shoulder-first into the ringside steps. Big E grabbed Orton by his throat and said he has hell to pay and he’s there to collect. He threw him over the announce table. Big E rolled into the ring to break the ref’s count. Orton poked Big E in the eye, but Big E reversed Orton into and over the barricade. Back in the ring Big E continued to dominate Orton. He went for an abdominal stretch, then licked his palm a few times and spanked Orton to the beat of “New… Day Rocks!” He lifted Orton by his ears. Orton raked Big E’s eyes, then threw him shoulder-first into the ringpost. Big E came back and went for a splash on Orton on the ring apron. Orton moved and Big E crashed. Orton back suplexed Big E onto the announce table. They cut to a break, but stayed with the action on split screen. [c]
Orton continued to beat up Big E at ringside during the break. Back from the break Big E blocked another back suplex onto the desk and dropped Orton on the desk. Back in the ring Big E hit Orton with two belly-to-belly suplexes. He gyrated over Orton and then flicked his crotch sweat on him. Revival ran out. Big E fended them off, blocked an RKO, and setup a Big Ending. Orton shoved Big E off him, then shoved Big E into the Revival, and hit the RKO for the win
WINNER: Orton in 9:00.
-After the match, Orton and the Revival gave Big E a “Super RKO.”
(Keller’s Analysis: It was strange seeing Big E in a singles match and acting mostly seriously, although he still found time to spank Orton and flick his crotch sweat on him, so we know it’s really him.)
-An unnamed blond woman interviewed Chad Gable backstage. She said many see him as the underdog in the KOTR tournament. She asked if Shelton Benjamin’s insults have gotten under his skin. He said Shelton of all people should know better than to underestimate him. Shelton walked in and said he was looking for Shorty Gable. He told Sarah if she sees him to let him know he’s looking for him.
-They showed Elias backstage. Graves said “he is next.” [c]
-Phillips talked about all the media headlines about Sonya Deville, Carmella, and Ronda Rousey joining the cast of “Total Divas.” Then he threw to a highlight package of the 24/7 Title changes at the Fox Founders event over the weekend.
-Elias sat on the throne with the crown on. He said in just a few weeks he’ll be known as King Elias. He said fans will chant “Long Live King Elias.” He said he is a sight to see and a king to believe in. He called the fans “filthy swamp people.” KO came up behind him and punched him. They fought into the ring. Owens hit Elias with a stunner. KO’s music played and he left. Then they went back to the ring where R-Truth covered Elias. Drake Maverick broke up the pin and made the cover. He pinned Elias and then ran out of the ring celebrating with the belt held over his head. Graves said maybe now he can consummate his marriage. Phillips said that will never happen. Graves said Phillips doesn’t want to be the only one without a consummated marriage on Smackdown.
-Gable was shown getting psyched up backstage. [c]
(4) SHELTON BENJAMIN vs. CHAD GABLE – King of the Ring Tournament First Round match
Phillips said this is a battle of former partners. When Gable eyed the throne, Graves said he was just determining if he’d need a booster seat. They showed Andrade and Zelina watching a TV backstage. They get how to watch TV – straight on. Shelton asked Gable, “Shorty, what’ve you got?” Gable slapped him and made a comeback. Gable german suplexed Shelton, but Shelton came right back with a clothesline. Both were slow to get up. Shelton swept Gable down and applied an ankle lock. At ringside Shelton swung Gable into the ringside barricade. Shelton avoided a moonsault, landed on his feet, and kneed Gable. Gable countered with a sunset bomb for the three count.
WINNER: Gable in 4:00 to advance to the second round to face Andrade.
(Keller’s Analysis: So are we ever going to find out why Gable was hanging out taking notes or why Shelton eyes were darting around oddly all those weeks? Neither situation helped either of these wrestlers be more over than they would have been. The action was solid, but no crowd heat.) [c]
-Reigns made his way to the ring. Phillips said this is a pivotal time for Reigns. Saxton said he can’t imagine the emotional turmoil he’s had to deal with the past few weeks. Saxton said he can’t imagine Reigns will apologize to Bryan and Rowan. Graves said Reigns is an honorable man who does what’s right, and he apologized to Joe when Joe’s name was cleared. The announcer continued to bicker about the situation without anyone pointing out that maybe the Rowan lookalike wasn’t necessarily the perpetrator… until the very end when Saxton showed a slight sign of skepticism.
Bryan and Rowan appeared on the big screen. Reigns asked the fans if he should apologize. The fans yelled “No! No! No!” Reigns suggested everyone watch this video and if he still needs to apologize, he will. He told Bryan to watch the video. They replayed the equipment falling onto Reigns and in the background there was a visual of the Rowan-looking guy in the background walking away. Bryan slapped Rowan. Rowan admitted he did it. Bryan said he hates liars. He told him to get out of there. Bryan took the mic and marched toward the ring and said he hates liars and he has trusted that man. He said he didn’t know anything about it. He walked onto the stage and insisted Rowan lied to him and betrayed him. He said somebody had to have told Rowan to do that and it wasn’t him. He entered the ring. Reigns speared Bryan immediately. Reigns’ music played.
(Keller’s Analysis: This is going to go down as one of the worst, most pointless, most ill-conceived and dragged out storylines with the weakest payoff in WWE history.)
FINAL THOUGHTS: A skippable show. I’m off to podcast live about it now.